COVID cases growing much faster than deaths except Europe

COVID-19 virus. Image: FDA

Nov. 15 (UPI) — Coronavirus cases are surging at a greater rate than deaths with the exception of Europe, where nations are trying to control the pandemic with restrictions, including lockdowns.

That includes in Britain where Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Sunday he is self-isolating after meeting with a minister who later tested positive. Johnson is not showing any symptoms and spent three nights in intensive care in April with coronavirus.

In one week through Saturday, infections have grown 8.0% globally compared with 4.8% for fatalities, according to tracking by The one-week change was 60,762 deaths and 4,034,106 cases.

So far Sunday, cases have reached 54,733,050 and deaths are at 1,323,231.

On Saturday, deaths grew by 8,808, behind the record of 10,161 two days earlier. And cases surged by 575,845, less than the mark of 660,906.

In Europe, deaths and cases increased by a similar amount in the past week: 9.7% for deaths and 9.8% for cases. So far Sunday, the continent has reported 322,274 deaths, including 2,856 Sunday and 13,937,688 cases, including 210,303 Sunday.

The one week change in Europe was 28,284 deaths and 1,176,838 cases.

The United States, which has had the most cases and deaths for several months, has had a greater rate of cases at 10.3%, 1,017,810, compared with 3.2% for deaths at 7,580. So far Sunday, the U.S. has 246,006 deaths and 11,000,984 cases, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University.

Europe holds four of the top positions for deaths: No. 5 Britain at 51,934, No. 6 Italy at 45,229, No. 7 France at 44,548 and No. 9 Spain at 40,769.

On Sunday, Britain reported 168 deaths one day after 462, as well as 24,962 cases three days after a record 33,470.

No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world’s epicenter and reached 919 deaths in one day, announced 546 and 33,970 cases two days after a record 40,902. France’s 302 deaths Sunday came two days after 932 that was the most since a record of 1,437 in April, as well as 27,228 cases after a record 86,852 one Saturday ago.

Spain, which doesn’t report data on weekends, had 308 deaths Friday and 21,371 cases, behind a record 22,516 Nov. 7.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 1,925,825, including 22,572, which is less than a record 22,702 Saturday. The nation gained 352 deaths two days after a record 411 and is in 13th.

Also in the top 20 are Belgium in 17th with 197 more deaths Sunday and 6,268 cases, and Germany with 14 fatalities and 3,622 cases.

Several European cities have instituted lockdowns.

Britain’s second lockdown came into force on Nov. 4.

In England, government science advisers warn it will face a resurgence of coronavirus cases before Christmas if the country returns to the tiering restrictions in place last month when the latest lockdown is over. Three weeks before the prime minister announced the three-tier COVID alert levels, scientific advisers called in September for a two-week “circuit breaker” and other interventions.

Italy hasn’t imposed a second lockdown but the nation has added more regions to its coronavirus high-risk “red zones.” Added were Campania, which includes Naples, and Tuscany. Previously in red were Lombardy, Bolzano, Piedmont and Aosta Valley in the north, and Calabria in the south.

In the highest zone, residents can only leave home for work, health reasons, essential shopping or emergencies. Closed are all non-essential stores.

Protesters demonstrated against the restrictions Sunday in Turin in northern Italy, which was hit hard early by the pandemic and had a lockdown in March before the rest of the nation.

France put into place a lockdown two weeks ago. On Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced restrictions would continue until at least Dec. 1, with restaurants, bars and gyms likely to remain closed into December.

Although France is averaging 500 deaths per day — only behind the U.S. and India — its cases have decreased and its rate of transmission is down.

In Spain, regional authorities have the power to restrict movement but don’t allow a full lockdown.

In Germany, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told newspaper Bild am Sonntag that the partial lockdown measures would likely last beyond December and “we will have to live with considerable precautions and restrictions for at least the next four to five months.”

He said: “The infection figures are still too high. Much higher than two weeks ago…despite all efforts, a change for the better has not yet been achieved.

“We cannot afford a yo-yo shutdown with constant opening and closing of the economy,” he said.

In Romania, at least 10 people have been killed and several others seriously injured in a fire Saturday night at a public hospital treating coronavirus patients in the northeastern city of Piatra Neamt.

Romania has reported more than 360,281 cases of coronavirus, including 7,096 Sunday and 8,926 deaths with an additional 113.

Europe has the second-most number of cases behind Asia, which is at 15,079,382. The continent has reported 266,226 deaths, including Mainland China, the original epicenter of the world that hasn’t reported a death since April 26 and is now 35th with 4,634. On Sunday, it reported 13 cases.

India is fourth place in the world with 129,635 deaths, including 447 additional ones Sunday. The nation is second in cases at 8,814,579 with an additional 41,100 compared with a world record at the time 97,894 in September. Since then the U.S. had 187,907 on Friday.

Air pollution in New Delhi, which is home to 30 million people, is making people more prone to infections, according to doctors and scientists.

“I often feel like we cannot live here,” Jharna Sarkar, a 66-year-old retiree who suffers from asthma told The Washington Post. “I do not know where I can go.”

Iran reported 461 deaths Sunday, which is one less than the record Friday, as well as 11,737 cases, which is 43 from the record last week.

In the Far East, cases are spiking in Japan, which has set records for three days in a row with 1,737 Saturday though it dropped to 1,434 Sunday. In all, there are 119,413 cases, including 712 on a cruise ship. The death toll stands at 19,07, including 13 on the ship. The most deaths: 49 on May 4.

Despite the record infections, people are going on vacations, including visiting Tokyo Disney.

South Korea reported one death for a total of 493 and 208 cases at 28,546.

South America holds six spots in the top 20 for most deaths: Brazil in second with 165,677, Argentina in 10th with 35,307, Peru 11th with 35,177, Colombia 12th with 33,829, Chile 16th with 14,819, Ecuador 18th with 12,997. Argentina passed Peru last week and Colombia a week earlier with 262 deaths Saturday compared with 71 in Peru and 160 in Colombia

Brazil’s coronavirus situation had peaked with 15,554 deaths and 70,869 on July 29. Fatalities had dropped to as low as 111 on Nov. 8 and cases at 3,139 on Oct. 11. But there has been a resurgence with 29,463 cases.

In all, South America has 309,398 deaths and 10,324,962 cases.

In North America there are 376,331 deaths and 13,259,947 cases.

Mexico is fourth overall in the world with 98,259, including 635 late Saturday as well as 5,860 cases to pass 1 million at 1,003,253 for 11th.

Canada is 22nd overall with 11,418 deaths, including 63 more Saturday. Case have been surging, including a record 5,516 Thursday with Saturday’s figure 4,613. Between May 26 and Aug. 30 cases were never more than 1,000.

Christmas celebrations are in jeopardy.

“Reducing your contacts, reducing your gatherings are going to be most important. And what we do in the coming days and weeks will determine what we get to do at Christmas,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference Friday.

Canada’s coronavirus cases jumped after Thanksgiving on Oct. 12.

“An important driver of this increased disease activity continues to be informal social gatherings and activities both inside and outside our homes,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said. “In these more relaxed settings such as family gatherings, birthday parties, holiday celebrations and recreational activities, it is natural to relax. But this can mean that it’s easy to forget and let our guard down on the necessary precautions.”

No lockdown is in place in Canada yet with healthcare decisions the responsibility of provinces, some of which have restricted public gatherings and recommended people only leaving their homes for essential purposes in “red zones.”

Travel restrictions among Canada, Mexico and the United States are in place until Nov. 21. They began on March 18.

The outbreak is minimal in Oceania with New Zealand at 25 deaths with none since Sept. 16 and Australia at 907, including none since two on Oct. 28.

On Sunday, New Zealand reported three cases for a total of 2,001, which is 19 in one week, and Australia up 17 for 27,728, an increase of 70 in seven days.

Melbourne had emerged from a 16-week lockdown on Oct. 28.

On Sunday, authorities in Perth ordered 160 domestic travelers on a Qantas flight from South Australia that they must leave the state or undergo a two-week self-quarantine after the Western Australian government changed its border policy while they were mid-flight.

On Saturday, a 222-day interstate hard border ended.

In Africa, there have been 47,422 deaths and 1,987,021 cases.

South Africa leads the continent with 2,241 deaths, including 35 more Sunday followed by Egypt at 6,442 after 13 Saturday. South Africa has the 15th-most cases in the world at 751,024, including 1,842 more Sunday.


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