Global COVID-19 cases continue to climb, Europe sees new wave with highest number

2021-11-19 14:38:44Xinhua Editor : Zhang Dongfang ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

The daily number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the world has risen once more with the arrival of winter, evident from surges across Europe and increases in the Americas.

As of Thursday, there were over 254.8 million confirmed cases globally, with 555,946 newly registered cases in the past 24 hours, according to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO). The daily number declined from Wednesday's 603,156, but is higher than most of the daily infections since early October.

European countries including Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands are experiencing a new wave of coronavirus with the highest weekly cases since the pandemic began last year. A WHO report showed on Tuesday that during the week of Nov. 8 to 14, of the 3.3 million new cases reported globally, 2.1 million came from Europe.

Daily infections in Germany continued to rise, exceeding 65,000 for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said Thursday, noting the country's seven-day COVID-19 incidence rate climbed to 336.9 cases per 100,000 people.

As the situation worsens, some of the country's 16 federal states on Tuesday started to restrict event, restaurant and bar access to unvaccinated patrons.

In the Netherlands, the number of positive cases topped the 100,000 mark for the first time over the past week, prompting the government to introduce stricter measures to curb the virus. Over the next three weeks starting from Nov. 13, restaurants, bars and essential shops will have to close by 8 p.m. Social distancing of 1.5 meters minimum will also be mandatory again in public spaces.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to lead the world with the most total and weekly cases in a single country. The country has reported nearly 100,000 new cases in the past 24 hours, and so far registered a total of over 47 million confirmed cases and nearly 770,000 fatalities, figures from the Johns Hopkins University showed.

Although the number of deaths are slightly declining in the country as a whole, new infections, hospital admissions and deaths in some colder states such as New York and Massachusetts are increasing. Moreover, the country is seeing a spike in new cases among children as the cold weather brought them back to the classroom and moved activities indoors.

According to local media outlet Daily Voice, more than 122,000 cases were reported among minors in the past week, marking a 22 percent increase from approximately two weeks ago.

COVID-19 infections and deaths have been falling in recent days in Africa and the Middle East. South Africa saw a continuous and rapid decline in new cases during the past two months, with the latest seven-day rolling average below 300. The peak of the last wave saw around 20,000 new cases per day in July.

In Israel, new infections have fallen to under 500 per day and are holding steady, with daily deaths from the disease under 10. The Israeli Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday that passengers traveling to Israel will no longer have to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result before boarding.

Instead, passengers must present a negative rapid antigen test result conducted up to 24 hours before takeoff by an authorized provider, according to the ministry.


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