Western Hemisphere accounts for 46.9% of deaths, 40% infections

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Aug. 29 (UPI) — The Western Hemisphere, despite holding only 18% of the world’s 7.9 billion population, has nearly a majority of coronavirus-related deaths and nearly 40% of the infections with five nations in the top 10 for most fatalities.

The global death toll from COVID-19 was 4,512,942 and infections were 217,077,802 so far Sunday, according to tracking by Worldometers.info. In one week, fatalities decreased 0.5% and infection were down 2%.

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The Western Hemisphere accounts for 47% of he deaths and 39% of the cases.

Specifically, North America’s death toll was 990,189 and cases were 47,560,874, or 22% for both categories despite only 8% of the population. The United States remains the world leader in deaths at 654,398 with a 6% rise in one week and cases at 39,621,383 with a 2% drop from seven days ago. Its 7,214 deaths in the past week were the most in the world, according to Worldometers.info.

Mexico ranks fourth with the most deaths at 257,906, rising 9% in one week, and 15th in cases, going down 11% to 3,328,863.

In South America, there have been 1,128,045 deaths, decreasing 12% and 36,843,643 cases, going down 16%.

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Brazil has the most deaths in South America at 579,052 in second place overall with cases 20,728,605 in third. Over one week Brazil’s fatalities have dropped 11% and infections 17%.

Also in the top 10 in South America for deaths: Peru fifth at 198,167 and Colombia 10th at 124,743. Argentina is 12th with 111,324 deaths and Chile 20th with 36,841.

Elsewhere in the world, India is second in cases at 32,695,030 and third in deaths at 437,830.

In North America, the United States’ non-essential travel ban with Canada and Mexico has been extended one month to Sept. 21. It began one year ago in March. Earlier, Canada announced it was reopening to vaccinated Americans.

The United States has administered at least one dose to 61.4% of its total population with Brazil at 63.2%. India’s one-shot rate is 34.8%. China doesn’t list the one-dose rate but for the fully vaccinated it is 63.5% in a nation of a world-high 1.5 billion people.

Worldwide, vaccination doses grew by 270 million in one week to 5.2 billion.

Europe has administered 98 doses per 100 people, followed by North America at 93, South America at 82, Asia at 74, Oceania at 53 and Africa at 7.2, according to tracking by The New York Times. Most vaccines require two shots with boosters also occurring.

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Canada’s one-shot vaccination rate has risen to 73.4%. Mexico’s vaccination rate is 44.8%, though it was the first Latin American nation to begin vaccinating people.

On Saturday, the United States reported 534 deaths and 53,069 cases though many states didn’t report data. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed 1,329 deaths and 176,742 cases through Friday.

On Saturday, Mexico reported 756 deaths and 17,546 cases. The most deaths last week: 986 on Thursday.

Deaths are way down in Mexico from a one-day record of 1,803. The cases record of 28,953 was set Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, coronavirus doesn’t have nearly the impact in Canada though the situation is worsening,.

Canada reported two deaths so far Sunday for a total of 26,900 in 26th place with a rise over 21% over seven days and 740 cases one day after 1,799 cases for a cumulative 1,488,976, and an increase of 28%.

Canada’s deaths record is 257 on Dec. 29 and the cases mark is 11,383 on Jan. 3, and a total of 1,468,813.

But Canada’s 4,811 cases Monday were the most since 5,057 on May 20.

On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s campaign event was canceled over safety concerns after angry coronavirus protesters rallied against him. They were demonstrating against Canadian government’s strict approach to vaccines and repeated lockdowns.

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“Canadians have had a hard year,” Trudeau told reporters after the event was canceled. “And these protesters have also had a hard year … I know and I feel the anger, the frustration, perhaps the fear.

“But we must meet that anger with compassion.”

In Mexico, the National Institute for Statistics and Geography calculates that there were almost more 500,000 deaths from coronavirus than officially reported between January 2020 and March of this year. The study compared mortality rates spanning 2015 and 2019.

Brazil’s fatalities decreased 11% with 656 Saturday and cases were down 17% with 24,699 most recently. The nation set a cases record of 114,139 cases in June and 4,211 fatalities in January.

On Saturday, Colombia reported 95 deaths, Argentina added 54, Peru gained 52 and Chile 34.

Chile has the highest vaccination rate on the continent at 75.2% with Argentina 61.6%, Colombia at 44.7% and Peru 30.3%. The Lambda variant was first detected in Peru in August 2020.

Brazil will give booster shots to people with compromised immune systems and those over the age of 70 beginning in mid-September, the Health Ministry said.

Although India is a prime manufacturer of vaccines, the nation didn’t reach a 50% vaccination rate of one shot for all those eligible until last week. Only 10.2% of the entire population has been fully inoculated.

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Government officials want to vaccinate all Indians by the end of this year. In the meantime, social distancing is still important, according to experts.

“Only fully vaccinated people should attend social gatherings,” Balram Bhargava, the director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, a top government science body, said in a report by The New York Times. “The second wave is still on in India. In some states, an upsurge is being observed in a few districts.”

The highly contagious Delta variant was first detected in India last October and has become the dominant strain worldwide.

On Sunday, India reported 460 deaths with a weekly 6% gain and 45,083 cases, which is up 17%. The records are 4,529 deaths and 30,948 cases.

In Asia, cases have reached a world-high 69,611,536 and deaths are 1,027,402, which is third behind Europe and South American but ahead of North America. Deaths decreased 3% and infections went up 1%.

Last week, Indonesia passed Italy into eighth place with most deaths at 121,923, including 923 Sunday. And cases Sunday with 7,427 and 13th overall. But fatalities are down 33%, though it is only second behind the United States with 8,976, and cases dropped 26%.

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Indonesia’s vaccination rate is 22.6% for one dose.

Also in the top 20 for most deaths is Iran in 13th with 106,482 rising 581 after a record 709 Tuesday with an 10% weekly gain. And cases gained 1% in the past week, but the 254,753 total was third in the world behind the United States with 1,019,883 and India with 270,639. The nation reported 7,427 cases Sunday with the record 50,228 Aug. 17.

In Japan, where the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympics are taking place, COVID-19 cases continue to surge. On Sunday, infections grew by 19,311 for a total of 1,460,026 with a record 25,492 eight days ago.

Deaths increased 50 to 15,971 in 38th place. Cases grew by 60% and deaths by 11%.

Until late July, cases hadn’t gone above 10,000 in one day. Before then, the record was 7,855 on Jan. 9.

Despite the surge, Japan’s cases percentage is lower than elsewhere.

Japan has 11,381 infections per million compared with the world at 27,845, the United States at 118,895, Britain at 98,559 and Indonesia at 14,714. For fatalities, Japan is at 126 per million compared with the world at 578.9, the United States at 1,964, Britain at 1,939, Indonesia at 476.

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But Japan is lagging in vaccinations with 54.9% of the population getting at least one dose, according to tracking by Bloomberg.

On Thursday, Japan suspended the use of about 1.63 million doses of the Moderna vaccine as a precaution after foreign substances were found in some vials. Two people died after receiving doses from the batch though causal link hasn’t yet been established, according to the ministry and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, which distributes the vaccine in Japan.

The pandemic began in late 2019 in Mainland China, but the nation has reported only a few deaths in the past 12 months and stands in 74th at 4,636 behind Kenya with 4,694. China added 33 cases Sunday and had administered more than 2 billion doses, the most in the world and dwarfing India with nearly 623 million and the United States with nearly 367 million, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University.

South Korea’s rate is 54.3% of its population. The nation has 2,279 deaths, including three more Sunday, and a rise of 1,617 cases after a record 2,219 Aug. 11.

Social distancing restrictions remain in place for another week.

Turkey is seventh in the world for cases at 6,329,549, including 17,912 Saturday, and 18th in deaths at 54,958, including 245 most recently.

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Israel, which is considered part of Asia, has a death toll of 6,889 with 39 reported Sunday and 4,456 cases. The nation has vaccinated 65.7% of its population with at least one dose.

Despite the good vaccination rate, Israel has one of the world’s highest infection rates: 112,712 per million people, slightly less than the United States 118,895. The world is 27,845.

The Health Ministry says 4,811 Israelis have been reinfected with coronavirus, accounting for 0.47% of the total recoveries, and mainly among young people. But just 0.08% of the reinfection cases were recorded in 2020 before the Delta variant became widespread.

In the European Union, 64.5% of the population has been given at least one dose, including 78% in Spain, 74% in France, 69.8% in Italy, 64.9% in Germany. Also in Europe, it’s 71.8% in Britain, 50.5% in Poland, 29.5% in Russia and 21.1% in Ukraine.

Europe has three nations in the top 10. Russia is sixth with 181,637, Britain seventh with 132,437, Italy ninth with 129,093. Also France is 11th with 114,157, Germany 14th with 92,635, Spain 15th with 84,000, Poland 17th with 75,340 and Ukraine 19th with 53,720.

Europe’s deaths grew by 0.2% for a current total of 1,170,140 and cases rose 8% at 55,091,462.

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Coronavirus is still surging in Russia, which reported 797 deaths Sunday after a record 819 Aug. 14. Cases were 19,286 compared with the record 29,935 in December.

Also most recently: Britain 61, Italy 37, France 53, Germany four, Ukraine 34 and Poland none. Spain doesn’t release data on the weekend.

On Thursday, Britain reported 37,970 cases, the most in a month but below the 54,183 on July 17 in the surge from the Delta variant and a record of 67,775 on Jan. 8. The 174 deaths reported Tuesday were the most since 175 March 12.

The European Union on Thursday discussed removing the United States from its “safe travel” list, meaning American travelers would face restrictions that include quarantine and testing. The EU launched the vaccine certificate, which allows for free movement of travelers between its countries though each nation can implement restrictions.

U.S. and European travelers who have been fully vaccinated can visit England without needing to quarantine. But a travel ban remains going into the U.S. from Europe.

In Africa deaths dropped 0.4% for a week with the total 195,062 and cases were down 9% at 7,810,201.

South Africa is in 16th place with 81,595 deaths, including 134 Sunday and 516 Wednesday. And cases rose 7,740 most recently.

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Tunisia has the second most deaths with 23,369, ahead of Egypt with 16,714.

South Africa has vaccinated just 15.4% of its population with at least one shot.

A new variant called, C.1.2, has been detected in South Africa and some other countries, including England, China, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland. A study found that it could be more infectious and evade vaccines. The study by South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform is awaiting peer review.

Scientists first detected C.1.2 in May and it descended from C.1.

In the study there were consistent increases in the number of C.1.2 genomes in South Africa, similar to the increases seen with the Beta and Delta variants there.

Oceania, with only 42.3 million people, has 2,089 deaths with an increase of 19%, or 189 in one week, and cases are 159,365, up 13,357 with a decrease of 17%.

New Zealand’s deaths remain at 26 with the last one reported on Feb. 16 and Australia’s toll increased to 999, with six reported Sunday and 15 in a week.

New Zealand reported 84 cases Sunday and Australia was up a record 1,305. Until this month, the record was 71 on one year ago July. Most of the cases are in New South Wales, which includes Sydney.

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Last week, the largest city in Australia extended its lockdown until Sept. 10.

In Victoria, Melbourne’s lockdown will be extended indefinitely in the nation’s second-largest city. The four-week lockdown was to end Thursday as there is a curfew.

“Essentially we see far too many cases today for us to be able to seriously consider opening up later on this week,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said Sunday. “Obviously, with almost 100 cases today where many of them remain mysteries, many of them were out in the community during their infectious period, it is not going to be possible for us to be able to open up our Victorian community in just a couple of day’s time.

Australia has vaccinated 45.6% of its population and New Zealand is at 40.9%.