Amid UN chief’s Covid warning, Europe in focus: 10 global updates | world news

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a new coronavirus warning this week as he spoke of ‘big outbreaks in Asia’ and ‘a new wave in Europe’ as new concerns emerged regarding the XE variant, which would be highly transmissible. “We are seeing 1.5 million new cases every day. Large outbreaks are spreading across Asia. A new wave is sweeping across Europe,” Guterres said in a video message, adding that Omicron was a “surprising reminder” of how quickly COVID-19 can mutate and spread. His remarks come after the world saw an increase in parts of Europe and Asia in the first week of March.

Here are ten global updates on Covid cases:

1. Even though the world is worried about new variants, the WHO’s weekly update showed a drop in cases for the second week in a row. There was a 16% drop in Covid cases during the week of March 28 to April 3 compared to the previous week, the global health body said in its April 5 update. “The number of new weekly deaths also fell sharply (-43%) compared to the previous week,” he said.

2. The highest number of new weekly cases, according to the WHO, “were reported by the Republic of Korea (2,058,375 new cases; -16%), Germany (1,371,270 new cases; -13% ), France (959,084 new cases; +13%), Vietnam (796,725 new cases; -29%) and Italy (486,695 new cases; -3%)”.

3. The United States (4,435), Russia (2,357), the Republic of Korea (2,336) and Germany (1,592) recorded the highest number of deaths during the week of March 28 to April 3.

4. In the latest updates, China’s financial hub – Shanghai – announced another round of mass coronavirus testing to fight the outbreak. On Saturday, it recorded 23,600 new locally transmitted Covid cases, Reuters news agency reported.

5. Shanghai’s curbs to fight the outbreak have cut supplies of food and other essentials for the city of 26 million, with residents also worried about access to medical care, reports say .

6. Germany reported 22,647,197 confirmed cases of Covid-19, an additional 55,471 cases on Saturday.

7. France reported a further increase in the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care as the country’s death toll from the outbreak continued to rise. The European nation reported 74 new Covid-related deaths on Saturday. So far, 1.14 Lakh people have died from the infection.

8. Italy reported 63,992 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, down from 66,535 the day before, the health ministry said. Italy has recorded 160,658 infection-related deaths since its outbreak emerged in February 2020, the second-highest toll in Europe.

9. The COVAX facility, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), has delivered 1.42 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 144 countries , according to GAVI data released on Saturday. The WHO has repeatedly stressed the importance of vaccinating 70% of the population in all countries this year to control the mutation of the virus and its spread.

10. Nations have been advised not to let their guard down as new variants continue to emerge.

(With contributions from Reuters, PTI)

Mary I. Bruner