Over 4.8 million novel coronavirus cases and over 85,000 deaths were registered worldwide in the past week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said a weekly bulletin released in Geneva early on Wednesday.
"Globally, in the past week, the number of new cases and deaths continued to decrease with just over 4.8 million new cases and just under 86 000 new deaths reported; a 12% and 5% decrease respectively compared to the previous week," the global organization said in its COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update. "Despite a declining trend over the past three weeks, the incidence of cases remains at some of the highest levels since the start of the pandemic."
On May 10-16, the global organization was informed about 4,809,520 new cases all over the world, and 85,975 COVID-related deaths. As of May 16, a total of 162,184,263 cases of the infection and 3,364,446 COVID-related fatalities have been reported worldwide, TASS reports.
All regions reported a decline in new cases this week apart from the Western Pacific Region (up 4%). Cases declined by 26% in Europe, by 22% in Eastern Mediterranean, by 12% in Southeast Asia, by 4% in Africa, by 3% in North and South America.
Mortality increased in Southeast Asia (up 7%) and in Western Pacific (up 4%), but declined in Europe (down 16%), Eastern Mediterranean (down 16%), Africa (9%) and North and South America (down 7%).
In the past seven days, over 684,000 people contracted the infection in Europe, over 16,000 patients died. The number of cases in North and South America increased by over 1.2 million in the reported period, while fatalities grew by 31,000. In Southeast Asia, doctors registered over 2.5 million new cases of the novel coronavirus, over 30,000 patients died.
India accounts for the majority of cases registered on May 10 - May 16 (2.3 million new cases), followed by Brazil (over 437,000 new cases), the United States (over 235,000), Argentina (over 151,000), Colombia (over 115,000), Iran (over 99,000), France (over 93,000), Turkey (over 90,000), Germany (over 73,000), Nepal (over 61,000), Russia (over 59,000) and Italy (over 50,000).
Also, the WHO reported that B1.1.7, a more contagious strain of the novel coronavirus initially detected in the United Kingdom, was found in 143 countries as of May 18, and its presence is being verified in eight more countries. The number of countries that reported on their territory the B1.351 strain of novel coronavirus, first discovered in South Africa, now stands at 96. The P.1 variant (first identified in Brazil and Japan) is now circulating in 58 states.
Apart from those three strains with the VOC (variant of concern) status, the WHO epidemiological bulletin mentions the B.1.617 strain, discovered in India in October 2020. This type of virus has three sub-lineages: B.1.617.1 has been identified in 41 countries, B.1.617.2 - in 48 countries and B.1.617.3 - in five countries. Moreover, nine states reported unidentified sub-lineages of B.1.617 on their territory.
According to the WHO, all the four VOC strains are circulating in India, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, Turkey and Israel. Russia has detected strains B1.1.7 and B1.351, along with two sub-lineages of B.1.617, on its territory.