The World Health Organization says the number of global coronavirus cases fell in the last week, continuing a downward trend that began in late August.
In its latest weekly assessment of the pandemic published on Wednesday, the UN health agency said there were:
- More than 2.8 million new cases, a decrease of seven per cent from a week earlier.
- More than 46,000 confirmed deaths in the last week, a 10 per cent decrease from a week earlier.
According to the weekly report, Europe reported a seven per cent rise in new weekly cases, while all other world regions reported a decrease. The WHO said Europe also had the biggest rise in new weekly deaths in the previous week, with 11 per cent more COVID-19 deaths.
The highest numbers of new cases in Europe were reported in Britain, Turkey and Russia.
Russia on Thursday recorded the highest daily numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic, a rapidly surging toll that has severely strained the nation’s health-care system.
The government’s coronavirus task force reported 31,299 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 986 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The country has repeatedly marked record daily death tolls over the past few weeks as infections surged amid a slow vaccination rate and lax enforcement of measures to protect against the coronavirus.
-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7:10 a.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of early Thursday morning, more than 239.2 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a tool from Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.8 million.
In the Americas, beleaguered business owners and families separated by a non-essential travel ban are celebrating after the Biden administration says it will reopen U.S. land borders next month.
Travel across land borders from Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to workers whose jobs are deemed essential. New rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason starting in early November.
Unlike air travel, for which proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required before boarding a flight to enter the U.S., no testing will be required to enter the U.S. by land or sea, provided the travellers meet the vaccination requirement.
The 19-month coronavirus restrictions had economic, social and cultural impact, preventing shopping and cross-border family gatherings when relatives live on different sides of the border.
In Africa, Nigeria will require civil servants to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test for the disease to gain access to their offices from the beginning of December, a presidential committee said on Wednesday.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Melbourne will exit months of COVID-19 lockdown next week ahead of schedule, while New Zealand reported its biggest rise in COVID-19 infections in six weeks.
South Korea has reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections for the 100th consecutive day as a delta-driven outbreak continues to spread in the greater capital area. Health officials say 1,580 of the 1,940 new cases reported Thursday are in the Seoul metropolitan region.
In Europe, the French government will ask lawmakers to extend its pandemic state of emergency until July 31 next year to deal with the continuing coronavirus crisis, spokesperson Gabriel Attal said.
In the Middle East, Iran on Wednesday reported 12,298 new cases of COVID-19 and 194 additional deaths.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 7:15 a.m. ET