The World Health Organization (WHO) says confirmed cases of COVID-19 have continued to grow worldwide for the fourth consecutive week, with about 3.3 million new cases recorded in the past seven days.
The UN health agency said this in its Weekly Epidemiological Update posted on its website.
According to the WHO, the number of new deaths from coronavirus decreased after a six-week decrease, and slightly more than 60,000 new deaths were recorded.
He noted that “Europe and America continued to account for almost eight out of 10 all cases and deaths.
“The only region with a report of a drop in deaths was the western Pacific, almost a third smaller than the previous week.
“Infections have increased, especially in Southeast Asia, Europe and the eastern Mediterranean.”
In the African region and the Americas, it is stated that the infection has remained stable in recent weeks, “with worrying trends in some countries within the regions.
“This includes Brazil, where the highest number of new cases was recorded (508,010 new cases per week, an increase of three percent).
“The United States recorded 374,369 new cases – a drop of 19 percent – while India recorded 240,082 new cases, an increase of 62 percent.
“France recorded 204,840 new cases (an increase of 27 percent), and Italy recorded little change, with 154,493 new cases recorded.”
The WHO, however, said the latest data on coronavirus variants show that the so-called “UK” strain is present in 125 countries, in all six global regions.
It is stated that the variant – VOC202012 / 01 – could be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization, weight and mortality.
The WHO pointed to a study involving 55,000 patients with COVID-19 between last October and January, where mortality from the UK version was 4.1 per 1,000, compared with 2.5 per 1,000 among those infected with pre-circulating coronavirus.
It states that “in a more positive note, there are data from vaccine tests conducted in England from December 2020 to February 2021 – when VOC202012 / 01 was very widespread.
“Also, the so-called South African variant – 501Y.V2 – is now present in 75 countries in all regions, in over 90 per cent of sequenced specimens in some settings.”
Globally, there were 123,419,065 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2,719,163 deaths reported to the WHO on March 23.
As of March 22, 2021, a total of 403,269,879 doses of vaccine have also been administered.