Nov. 22 (UPI) — With worldwide coronavirus deaths increasing by more than 10,000 each day and cases surging by 1 million every two days, the numbers have been especially pronounced in Russia.
In one week, the nation has surpassed Peru and Colombia climbing from 13th place to 11th place for the most deaths, 36,179. Last week, Russia passed 2 million cases at 2,089,329, which is fifth in the world behind the United States, India, Brazil and France.
Globally, there are 1,392,567 deaths and 58,928,191 cases since the pandemic began at the start of the year. On Saturday, there were 8,922 fatalities one day after a record 11,135 and 581,150 infections one day after a record 662,957. The first time cases hit 500,000 was Oct. 28.
Russia has been setting national records for most deaths and cases. On Sunday, the nation reported a record 24,581 cases. Just two months ago there was one-quarter that number. It reached 10,000 cases for the first time on Oct. 4.
Cases reported Sunday in Russia were 401 compared with the record 467 the day before. The totals have been in a steep increase. On May 29 there were a record 232 deaths, which wasn’t surpassed until 244 on Oct. 13.
Russia has 14,134 cases per million, which is more than the world average of 7,526 and India with 6,584 but less than the United States with 37,550 and Brazil with 28,397. Russia’s death rate is 248 compared with the world at 178.2, the U.S. at 789, Brazil at 793 and India at 96.
“The entire Russian population, including people who will leave their home regions, villages and small towns, will sooner or later contract the coronavirus,” lung doctor Alexander Karabinenko told TASS. last week. “The virus spreads through the air and how can we limit air circulation? We need herd immunity to stop the rise in infections.”
Experts throughout the world such as Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., have declared herd immunity a dangerous and ineffective strategy to combat the virus.
“Such an approach would lead to a catastrophic loss of human lives without necessarily speeding up society’s return to normal,” Andersen told Nature.com.
Russia, considered part of Europe, is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths like the rest of the continent.
On Sunday, Europe reported 3,139 deaths and 181,883 cases as the disease is surging at record cases levels and deaths are the highest since the spring with nations instituting lockdowns. The totals are 355,055 fatalities, as well as 15,632,908 infections, second behind Asia.
No. 5 Britain reported 398 deaths for a total of 55,024 and 18,662 cases two days after a record 33,470. The nation tallied its highest number of fatalities — 1,166 — on April 21.
Britain has been in its second lockdown, which is scheduled to end Dec. 2 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to announce a “strengthened” tier system to succeed it on Monday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told Sky News on Sunday.
“The good news is, we will be exiting national restrictions on the 2nd of December, as the Prime Minister said at the beginning of the month-long restrictions,” he said.
He didn’t say whether a 10 p.m. curfew on the hospitality sector would be extended.
No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world’s epicenter with 919 deaths in one day, reported 562 deaths Sunday for a total of 49,823 and 28,337 cases two days after record 40,902 cases.
Italy hasn’t imposed a second lockdown but has regions deemed coronavirus high-risk “red zones.” In the highest zone, residents can only leave home for work, health reasons, essential shopping or emergencies. Closed are all non-essential stores.
Three weeks ago No. 7 France imposed a lockdown but its cases have declined from a record 86,852 one Saturday ago to 13,157. The nation also announced 214 deaths Sunday, one week after 932 deaths that was the most since a record of 1,437.
No. 8 Spain doesn’t report data on the weekend after Friday’s 308 deaths and 21,371 cases, behind a record 22,516 Nov. 7. Regional authorities have the power to restrict movement but don’t allow a full lockdown.
Also in the top 20, Belgium is 16th, reporting 170 deaths Sunday with Germany in 18th adding 9.
Germany, through this month, is in “lockdown light” with schools, stores and many businesses open. The restrictions should be extended in December and possibly toward Christmas, Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Bavaria’s state premier, Markus Soder, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
Poland, which is 19th, has been surging with the previous high before October 44 on April 24. The record was 637 three days ago. Sunday’s total was 339 with 18,467 cases.
Coronavirus is not nearly as alarming in Asia, where the pandemic originated in Mainland China, though there are trouble spots. The continent has 278,168 deaths, including 1,722 Sunday and 15,784,584 cases, including an additional 104,590.
Most are in India which reported 45,209 cases for a total of 9,095,807 and 501 deaths to total 133,227.
Iran is 10th in deaths at 44,802, including 475 six days after a record 486, and cases at a near-record 13,053. On Saturday, the nation closed businesses and limited travel restrictions.
Mainland China has not reported a death since April 26 and has dropped to 36th place, behind Morocco. It added 13 cases Sunday.
However, Hong Kong reported 68 new coronavirus cases, the highest increase since August with 61 locally transmitted. The total is 5,629 with 108 deaths.
“We are now facing a very severe situation in Hong Kong, the number of unlinked cases has been increasing in the past few days,” Sophia Chan, the secretary for food and health, said Sunday, adding more people are being tested.
Japan’s cases hit a record for the fourth day in a row Saturday, 2,596, for a total of 131,663. Deaths are at 1,994 with an additional 12.
The nation is considering reimposing attendance limits on large gatherings in areas of the country with a big increase in cases, Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister in charge of the government’s coronavirus response, told reporters Sunday.
South Korea, which reported 330 new cases Sunday for a total of 30,733, plans to increase social distancing measures to level 2 in the Seoul Metropolitan area for two weeks, starting Tuesday. At that level, masks are mandatory in all indoor facilities, entertainment facilities are prohibited, gatherings will be limited to less than 100 people, and schools are at one-third capacity.
Korea also reported two deaths for a total of 505.
Cases and deaths continue to surge on the West Hemisphere.
South America holds six spots in the top 20 for most deaths: Brazil in second with 169,016, Argentina in 10th with 36,902, Peru 12th with 35,549, Colombia 13th with 35,104, Chile 17th with 15,069, Ecuador 20h with 13,139.
On Saturday, the continent reported 796 deaths for a total of 316,559 and 52,992 cases for a total of 10,676,689.
Brazil reported 354, compared with the record 1,554 on July 29, to rise to 169,016. The nation added 32,622 cases and is at 6,052,786. Argentina reported 112 deaths and 7,140 cases.
In North America, all but around 16,000 of the deaths in North America are in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Cases total 14,572,570 as the U.S. passed 12 million.
No. 4 Mexico added 550 deaths and 6,729 cases. No. 23 Canada reported 72 deaths for a total of 11,406 and 4,992 cases five days after a record 6,115. Between May 26 and Aug. 30 cases were never more than 1,000.
“More and larger outbreaks are occurring in long term care homes, congregate living settings and hospitals, and spreading in Indigenous communities,” Dr. Theresa Tam, who is Canada’s top doctor, said in a statement Saturday.
“These developments are deeply concerning as they put countless Canadians at risk of life-threatening illness, cause serious disruptions to health services and present significant challenges for areas not adequately equipped to manage complex medical emergencies.”
The three nations have extended their travel ban through Dec. 21.
“In order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID, the US, Mexico, & Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Dec 21,” Chad Wolf, who is U.S. Homeland Security’s acting secretary posted on Twitter. “We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to keep essential trade & travel open while also protecting our citizens from the virus.
In Oceania, New Zealand’s deaths have stood at 25 since Sept. 16 and Australia at 907, including none since two on Oct. 28.
On Sunday, New Zealand reported nine cases for a total of 2,028, which is 27 in one week, and Australia up 15 for 27,806, an increase of 78 in seven days.
In Africa, there have been 49,779 deaths and 2,081,803 cases.
South Africa leads the continent with 2,903 deaths, including 58 more Saturday followed by Egypt at 6,535 after 14 Saturday. South Africa has the 16th-most cases in the world at 767,679, including 2,270 more Sunay.