Geneva: The world just saw the biggest seven-day surge incoronavirus cases since the start of the current epidemic, accordingto the World Health Organization on Thursday.
The agency recorded 9.5 million new cases worldwide, a 71-per-cent week-on-week increase, and said the true number is probably much higher because many regions are not testing enough or because reports are incomplete from some areas, according to WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Maria van Kerkhove, a WHO expert, said individuals still had the power to influence the course of the pandemic and keep case counts down. People needed to follow simple steps like keeping distance from people who do not belong to their household, wearing face masks properly and making sure any rooms they use are well ventilated.
She urged people to avoid crowded places and counselled schools,businesses and government agencies to invest in good ventilation systems.
"Don't give up, we will get out of this pandemic together," she said.
The number of Covid-19 cases soared by nearly two thirds across the world this week, but pandemic-linked deaths continued to drop.
The average number of new daily coronavirus cases increased to 1.94 million, a 64 per cent increase compared to the previous week, according to an AFP count to Thursday.
The confirmed cases only reflect a fraction of the actual number of infections, with varying counting practices and levels of testing in different countries.
With the highly contagious Omicron Covid variant present in most countries, flare-ups took place in every region of the world.
The number of cases in Oceania leapt by 259 per cent, while in the Latin America-Caribbean zone they increased by 143 per cent.
In the Middle East cases rose by 110 per cent, in Asia by 109 per cent, in the United States and Canada 69 per cent, in Europe 51 per cent and in Africa three percent.
Guyana, where cases rocketed by 653 per cent, saw the biggest increase. It was followed by Kuwait with 464 per cent more, Mauritania 452 per cent more, Suriname (419 per cent more) and the Dominican Republic (375 per cent more).
This week dozens of countries around the world saw the number of their cases double or more, including India, Pakistan, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines and Italy.
Eswatini, or the former Swaziland, registered the biggest drop in new cases, dropping by half.
Namibia came next in the improvement rankings with a 32 percent drop, followed by the Comoros (minus 29 percent), Russia (minus 24 percent) and South Korea (23 percent less). — AFP