PARIS | Europe has remained the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic for the past seven days, despite a stabilization of new contaminations: here are the salient developments of the past week, from an AFP database.
An important indicator, however, the number of diagnosed cases only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections and comparisons between countries should be taken with a grain of salt, as testing policies differ from one country to another.
Stabilization in Europe, leap in North America
The pandemic continued to accelerate this week around the world, with 579,000 new cases recorded per day (a record), 10% more than the previous week, according to a report established by AFP on Friday at 6 a.m.
With 284,000 new daily cases, Europe is the region with the most contamination, far ahead of the United States / Canada (137,000 per day). But new contaminations have almost stabilized in Europe (+ 1%), where many countries are confined or subject to curfews, while they have jumped in North America (+ 40%).
The trend is accelerating in almost all regions of the world: Middle East (+ 12%), Latin America / Caribbean (+ 12%), Africa (+ 10%) and Asia (+ 2%). The virus is hardly circulating in Oceania (13 cases per day, -23%).
Lithuania is the country where the epidemic is accelerating the most (+ 79%, 1,500 new cases per day), among those having recorded more than 1,000 daily cases during the past week. Japan (+ 58%, 1,100), Serbia (+ 50%, 2,600), Sweden (+ 44%, 4,200) and Brazil (+ 44%, 24,200) follow.
The sharpest decline is observed in Belgium (-53%, 6,700 new cases per day), ahead of the Netherlands (-32%, 6,200), the Czech Republic (-29%, 8,300), Switzerland (-29% , 5800) and Slovakia (-23%, 1900). These countries have put in place strong restrictions in recent weeks.
The most contaminations
The United States is the country with the highest number of new infections this week, with 132,400 new daily cases, ahead of India (45,700) and France (42,500). While the trend improved slightly in India (-1%) and France (-7%), it deteriorated markedly in the United States (+ 40%).
Italy (34,500, + 16%) and Poland (25,000, + 19%) follow.
As a proportion of the population, excluding micro-states, Luxembourg remains the country with the most cases (650 per 100,000 inhabitants) this week, ahead of Montenegro (633), Austria (553) and the Czech Republic ( 540). Of the 34 countries with an incidence rate above 200, 32 are European.
The United States has recorded the most deaths in the past week (1,079 per day), ahead of France (560), India (544), Italy (485) and Mexico (469).
The pandemic has killed at least 1.294 million people worldwide since the end of December, for more than 52.7 million confirmed infections. The United States remains the most bereaved country (242,435 dead), ahead of Brazil (164,281) and India (128,668).