The World Health Organization reported Wednesday that coronavirus deaths rose by 10 per cent in Europe in the past week, making it the only world region where both COVID-19 cases and deaths are steadily increasing. It was the sixth consecutive week that the virus has risen across the continent.
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The World Health Organization reported Wednesday that coronavirus deaths rose by 10 per cent in Europe in the past week, making it the only world region where both COVID-19 cases and deaths are steadily increasing.
In its weekly report on the pandemic, the UN health agency said there were about 3.1 million new cases globally in the week of Nov. 1 to 7, about a one per cent increase from the previous week. Nearly two-thirds of the coronavirus infections — 1.9 million — were in Europe, where cases rose by seven per cent. It was the sixth consecutive week that the virus has risen across the continent.
Out of the 61 countries WHO includes in its European region, which includes Russia and stretches to Central Asia, 42 per cent reported a jump in cases of at least 10 per cent in the last week.
The number of weekly COVID-19 deaths fell by about four per cent worldwide and declined in every region except Europe.
The weekly report showed that the highest number of new deaths in the European region were in:
- Russia, with 8,276 new deaths, similar to the previous week.
- Ukraine, with 4,355 new deaths, a 13 per cent increase.
- Romania, with 3,158 new deaths, similar to the previous week.
In Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova told a government meeting Wednesday that 82.8 per cent of 301,500 hospital beds reserved for coronavirus patients were filled as of Tuesday morning.
“So far we can’t confidently say that the situation has stabilized and the spread of infection has declined,” Golikova, who runs the country’s state coronavirus task force, told a government meeting Wednesday.
The task force registered yet another record for coronavirus deaths Wednesday — 1,239, up from Tuesday’s record of 1,211. Officials also reported 38,058 new infections. Around 40,000 cases and over 1,100 deaths have been registered every day since late October.
WHO’s Europe director, Dr. Hans Kluge, said last week that Europe was once again “back at the epicentre of the pandemic.” He warned that if more actions weren’t taken to stop COVID-19, the region could see another 500,000 deaths by February.
-From The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 9:35 a.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
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What’s happening around the world
As of early Wednesday morning, more than 251 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the global database maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than five million.
In Africa, Guinea will begin vaccinating children aged 12 to 17 to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The West African nation’s health ministry said the youth vaccinations will start Thursday in the capital, Conakry. Guinea’s National Agency for Health Security said the country received shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in late October and early November.
In the Americas, Brazil has had 10,948 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 183 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Tuesday. The South American country has now registered 21,897,025 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 609,756.
In the Middle East, Iran saw the highest number of both new cases and deaths in the region last week, the WHO said in its weekly epidemiological update.
In the Asia-Pacific region, a Bangladeshi drugmaker will soon begin selling the world’s first generic version of Merck’s COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, which has been touted as a potential game-changer in the fight against the pandemic.
In Europe, the EU’s drug regulator said Wednesday that it has started evaluating whether to authorize Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five to 11, a decision that could significantly open up COVID-19 vaccination across the continent for young children.
The Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency already is evaluating the vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech for use in the five to 11 age group. In a statement on Wednesday, the EMA said it anticipates making a recommendation about Moderna’s vaccine in about two months, unless more data or analysis are needed.
The coronavirus vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have already been cleared for use in children ages 12 to 17 in Europe, and many countries are giving shots to teens.
-From Reuters, CBC News and The Associated Press, last updated at 9:30 a.m.