July 11 (UPI) — Coronavirus is surging in the world with a 12% weekly rise in infections and 1% gain in deaths after the outbreak had been largely contained with restrictions and vaccines.
One and a half years after the virus originated in Mainland China, the death toll has risen to 4,045,525 and cases are at 187,411,259, so far Sunday, according to tracking by Worldometers.info.
In the past week, infections rose on every continent except South America. However, two nations from there posted the most cases among the top 10 on Saturday: Brazil was No. 1 worldwide with 48,504, Colombia seventh with 20,915 and Argentina 10th with 11,561. Overall, cases grew by 426,068 on Saturday.
The death toll has risen on every continent except North America and South America. India, which has lockdowns in some states, produced the most deaths Saturday with 1,206, followed by Brazil with 1,172. Indonesia was third with 826 but Sunday’s increase was 1,007, just behind the record 1,040 Wednesday.
The United States is the world leader in total deaths at 607,139 and cases at 33,850,219. Brazil is second in fatalities with 532,949 and India third with 407,145. India is second in cases at 30,795,716, ahead of Brazil with 19,069,003.
Asia leads the continents with 57,603,417 cases, gaining 16% with deaths declining by 16% and now is at 820,824 in fourth behind No. 1 Europe, No. 2 South America and No. 3 North America.
Three Asian nations are in the top 20 for most deaths. Besides India, Iran is 12th place and Indonesia 16th.
Asia is lagging in vaccines.
North America leads with 76 doses administered per 100 people, followed by Europe at 74, South America at 48, Asia at 46, Oceania at 25 and Africa at 4, according to tracking by The New York Times.
Worldwide, a total of 3.39 billion shots have been given in a population of 7.9 billion with a two-dose regimen required for most brands, according to tracking by Bloomberg.
The United States has administered at least one dose to 55.5% of its population with Brazil at 40.5%. Britain, which inoculated the first person in the world in December, is among the best in the world with 68.5%. China doesn’t report dose percentages but has enough for 48.8% of the world-high 1.5 billion people.
India is a dominant manufacturer of vaccines worldwide, but the nation has inoculated only 22% of its population with at least one dose. And Indonesia is 13.6%.
In India coronavirus has been trending down from a world record of 4,529 deaths and world cases mark of 414,188.
In the past week, deaths are down 3% with 895 reported Sunday. And case decreased 7% with 895 most recently.
In the fallout from a huge spike in cases, deaths and overwhelmed hospitals, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to step down along with his deputy. In all, the prime minister dropped 12 members of his cabinet.
“They (the government) don’t admit to failure, but this is a way to ensure accountability. This is one way to send a message not only to the health ministry but others in the cabinet that performance matters,” said Niranjan Sahoo, a senior fellow with the Observer Research Foundation, told CNN.
Coronavirus is now surging in Indonesia, which has risen to 66,464 deaths, including 5,430 in the past week for an increase of 65%. Cases climbed by 234,155 to 2,527,203 for a 44% gain.
Indonesia’s medical system has been strained. Hospital bed occupancy rates in many areas already exceed 100%, and more than 30 patients died in a Yogyakarta hospital last week after it briefly ran out of oxygen supply, CNN Indonesia reported.
Neighboring countries are sending oxygen to Indonesia.
Turkey is sixth in the world for cases at 5,481,555 with 5,261 Sunday and 19th in deaths at 50,229, including 37 most recently.
Coronavirus also is surging in Thailand, 42% in cases with 9,539 Sunday and 35% deaths with 86 Sunday for a total of 2,226.
Israel, which is considered part of Asia, has fully vaccinated 63.2% of its population. Its death toll is 6,436 with seven reported in a week and one Sunday. Israel recorded 84 cases Sunday and infections are up 73% in the week with 3,163. With the variant from India spiking in the nation, officials have reinstituted mask-wearing indoors and tightened border controls.
On Friday, the ministry announced that all travelers arriving in Israel must quarantine for 24 hours or until they produce a negative coronavirus test result.
In Japan, the Summer Olympics are scheduled to take place on July 27 with the host city Tokyo under a state of emergency. Last week, the government announced there will be no spectators weeks after foreign ones were banned. Also last week, three other prefectures were included, with two more added Saturday. Fukushima prefecture in northeastern Japan won’t allow fans at baseball and softball events, and the northern prefecture of Hokkaido will have soccer games without fans at the Sapporo Dome.
South Korea has vaccinated 30.7% of its population. The nation has 2,043 deaths, including five more Sunday, and 168,046 cases, with a rise of 1,324, one day after a record 1,378. The previous high was 1,237 on Dec. 25.
Restrictions in the greater Seoul area of South Korea have been extended. Starting Monday and lasting two weeks, social distancing rules are at the highest level with night-time entertainment businesses ordered to close and gatherings of three or more people after 6 p.m. banned.
The pandemic outbreak began in late 2019 in Mainland China, but the nation with the world’s largest population of 1.5 billion, has reported only a few deaths in the past 12 months and stands in 66th at 4,636 behind Kazakhstan with 4,647. China added 24 cases Sunday and had administered nearly 1.4 billion doses, the most in the world and dwarfing India with around 379 million and the United States with 332 million, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins.
In Europe, four nations are in the top 10 for most deaths, led by Russia in sixth with 143,002, Britain in seventh with 128,425, Italy eighth with 127,775 and France 10th with 127,775, dropping behind Colombia on Friday. Also, Germany is 12th with 91,764, Spain 14th with 81,003, Poland 15th with 75,160 and Ukraine 18th with 52,597.
On the continent, cases grew by 36% for a current total of 48,895,872 and deaths by 1% at 1,113,080.
Notably, Russia gained 11% in cases, 161,560, and 9% in deaths, 4,991.
Russia reported 749 deaths Sunday, one day after 752 with a high last year of 635 in December. Cases were 25,033 cases compared with the record 29,935 in December.
The nation has vaccinated only 20.4% of its population with one dose and 10.4% are fully vaccinated.
Besides the Sputnik V vaccine, there are two others made in Russia.
Russia has resumed regular air travel including to the United States and China.
European nations are opening travel, including launching on July 1 a Digital Covid Certificate, which allows for free movement of travelers between its countries.
The 27-nation European Union has recommended the United States among countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted. Also included is Saudi Arabia despite a spike in cases and deaths.
But residents of 29-nation Europe’s Schengen area, as well as those in Britain and and Ireland, remain barred from traveling to the United States unless they are a U.S. citizen or they spend 14 days before arrival in a country that is not on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s prohibited list.
The British government has placed most nations on a COVID-safe travel list.
Britain’s data have been going up — 30% in cases and 63% in deaths in the past week — but are down from a record 2,396 fatalities and 67,803 infections earlier this year. Deaths rose by 192 in the past seven days and 26 Sunday. Cases climbed 210,589 in a week with 31,772 most recently.
Also Sunday, other nations added single-digits: Italy seven, Ukraine five, Poland one and Germany five. France gained 19 Saturday and Spain doesn’t release data on the weekend.
England’s restrictions on people to gather, socialize, eat and attend pubs indoors is scheduled to expire July 19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week nearly all of the bans will end with a formal announcement expected Monday.
Britain leads European nations in vaccinated people with Spain 59.2%, Germany 58.3%, Italy 57.9%,
France 55.1%, Poland 45.8% and Ukraine 8.2%.
For the first time since the pandemic, French nightclubs reopened Friday to people who are vaccinated or can provide proof of a negative test.
In South America, deaths decreased 14% and cases dropped 12%.
South America has four nations in the top 20 for most deaths. Besides Brazil, Peru is fifth with 194,249, Colombia ninth with 112,298 and Argentina 11th with 98,501.
Overall, South America has 1,035,064 deaths and 33,957,710 cases.
Brazil’s fatalities decreased 8% and cases are down 15%. The nation set a record 114,139 two weeks ago with 48,504 most recently.
Chile has the highest vaccination rate on the continent at 68.3% and is 21st in deaths worldwide with 33,877 and 110 Sunday, with Argentina 43%, Colombia at 24.9% and Peru 16.1%.
Colombia reported 567 deaths Saturday, which was fifth in the world, and Argentina added 353 in sixth. Peru gained 165.
In Brazil, about 1,122 deaths have been children under 10.
“We found a huge number of child deaths from COVID and we started to compare to the U.S.” Fatima Marinho, a senior technical adviser in Brazil for Vital Strategies, a non-profit organization, told The National. “We found we have much more, more than 10 times the number of deaths compared to the U.S.”
Schools have been closed with lack of quality healthcare, crowded housing and malnutrition cited as causes for the number of young children afflicted.
North America’s totals are 924,583 deaths, down 4% over seven days, and 40,992,985 cases with an increase of 23% in cases.
In one week, U.S. deaths dropped 9% to 1,560 while cases were up 23% to 102,889, according to Worldometers.info. On Saturday, 139 deaths and 9,038 cases were reported though only 13 states reported death data.
Mexico’s deaths are up 16%, with 217 Saturday and fourth in the world at 234,675. Deaths are way down in Mexico from a one-day record of 1,803. The nation’s cases are up 40%, ranking 15th in cases at 2,577,140 with 9,319 most recently.
Canada’s cases are down 7% in one week and deaths also dropped 40%. Canada has reported under triple digits for deaths since 142 on Feb. 3 and a record 257 on Dec. 29 for a total of 26,428 in 24th, including nine Saturday. Cases reported were 314, down from the record of 11,383 on Jan. 3.
Mexico’s vaccination rate is 27.1%, though it was the first Latin American nation to begin vaccinating people. And Canada has risen to 68.8% and leading the United States by more than 13% after lagging by several points for months.
Canada, Mexico and the United States have mutual travel bans for non-essential travel through July 21. It began one year ago in March.
Last week, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be able to skip the 14-day travel quarantine upon return to the nation.
In Mexico, most regions don’t have restrictions. But Baja California Sur is planning social distancing rules including tourist hotspots of Los Cabos and La Paz. In Yucatan, which includes Cancun and Cozumel, some beaches in the state would be closed on weekends.
Coronavirus remains minimal in Oceania, with only 42.3 million people though deaths rose 158% percent with 31 and cases up 4,902 to 87%. There are 1,321 deaths and 81,303 cases.
New Zealand’s deaths remain at 26 with the last one reported on Feb. 16 and Australia’s toll increased to 911 Sunday, after the last one was reported April 13.
New Zealand reported two cases Sunday, tallying 16 in one week, for a total of 2,767, and Australia was up 19, which is 501 in a week, for 31,100.
Australia has vaccinated 26% of its population. New Zealand has administered first doses to 15.6% of its population.
The government of New South Wales, including Sydney, expects a lockdown, which has been in effect for three weeks, past Friday. It reported 77 cases Sunday.
The outbreak also has been surging in Fiji with 55 total deaths, compared with 30 one week ago and four by May 3. Case have climbed from 121 on May 3 to 10,512, including a record 485 Sunday. All workers must be vaccinated with the first-shot rate 30.4%.
Africa’s deaths grew 23% in one week to 151,946 and cases rose 13% to 5,991,435.
South Africa accounted for nearly half of the continent’s cases, 132,986 but only a gain of 0.4%. Deaths are up 52%, and also nearly half of the continent’s with 2,631. South Africa is in 17th place with 64,289 deaths, including 151 Saturday. And cases rose 16,302.
Egypt is second with 16,383 fatalities and Tunisia third with 16,244.
A more contagious variant originated there.
“It’s devastating, it’s soul-destroying,” a senior doctor at a major public hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, told CNN. “We are trained to save lives, but you revert to that wartime mentality. You revert to becoming numbed, you revert to becoming blunted.
“Patients are being brought in in cars with desperately ill patients who have been turned away from other hospitals with no beds.”
South Africa has vaccinated 6.4% of its population with at least one shot up from 3.9% the week before.