Coronavirus: New global cases fell 16% last week, says WHO

Corona workers in Kerala
Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

The number of new coronavirus cases reported worldwide fell 16% last week, to 2.7 million, the World Health Organization has said.

The number of new deaths reported also fell 10% over the same period, to 81,000, the WHO said on Tuesday night in its weekly epidemiological update, using figures up to Sunday.

Five of the six WHO regions of the world reported a double-digit percentage decline in new cases, with only the Eastern Mediterranean showing a rise, of 7%.

New case numbers dropped 20% last week in Africa and in the western Pacific, 18% in Europe, 16% in the Americas and 13% in southeast Asia.

The global case total is nearing 110 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with 2,418,416 deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic.

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that the number of new cases had declined for a fifth consecutive week, dropping by almost half, from more than 5 million cases in the week of 4 January.

“This shows that simple public health measures work, even in the presence of variants,” Tedros said. “What matters now is how we respond to this trend. The fire is not out, but we have reduced its size. If we stop fighting it on any front, it will come roaring back.”