Global weekly coronavirus deaths have fallen 9%, WHO reports

Show caption Residents line up for coronavirus mass testing in Lhasa, Tibet, on Tuesday. Global coronavirus deaths have fallen in the past week, with new cases remaining stable. Photograph: Reuters Coronavirus Global weekly coronavirus deaths have fallen 9%, WHO reports New deaths in Africa plummet 70% but rise 19% in Middle East, as World Health Organisation urges countries not to drop their surveillance of virus See all our coronavirus coverage Associated Press Thu 11 Aug 2022 03.37 BST Share on Facebook

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The number of coronavirus deaths fell 9% in the past week while new cases remained relatively stable, according to the latest weekly pandemic report released by the World Health Organization.

The UN health agency said on Wednesday there were more than 14,000 Covid-19 deaths in the past week and nearly 7 million new infections.

The number of new deaths rose 19% in the Middle East, while dropping more than 70% in Africa, 15% in Europe and 10% in the Americas.

The western Pacific reported a 30% jump in cases while Africa reported a 46% drop. Cases also fell more than 20% in the Americas and the Middle East.

The WHO cautioned that its assessment of Covid-19 trends remains compromised by countries dropping many of their testing, surveillance and sequencing efforts as most countries have relaxed pandemic controls.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said the Omicron subvariant BA.5 remains dominant globally, accounting for nearly 70% of all virus sequences shared with the world’s biggest publicly available virus database. The agency said other Omicron subvariants, including BA.4 and BA.2, appeared to be decreasing in prevalence as BA.5 takes over.

Chinese authorities have announced new restrictions this week, after finding coronavirus cases in the tourist island of Hainan and in Tibet. Earlier this week, the Chinese government shut down Lhasa’s Potala palace, the traditional home of the Dalai Lama, and also locked down Haikou, the capital of Hainan, in addition to several other cities including the beach resort Sanya.

About 80,000 tourists were stranded this week in Sanya after Chinese officials declared it a Covid-19 hotspot and required people to test negative five times within a week before being allowed to leave.

On Tuesday, the Chinese government sent a first planeload of 125 tourists out of Sanya and said other flights would be organised to fly out tourists in batches once they fulfilled the criteria to leave.