The World Health Organization says the number of coronavirus cases around the world has fallen over the past week, continuing a downward trend that began in late August.
In its latest weekly pandemic assessment released on Wednesday, the United Nations health agency said there were:
- More than 2.8 million new cases, a decrease of 7% from the previous week.
- More than 46,000 confirmed deaths in the past week, a decrease of 10% from the previous week.
According to the weekly report, Europe reported a 7% increase in new weekly cases, while all other regions of the world reported a decrease. The WHO said Europe also had the largest increase in new weekly deaths in the previous week, with 11% more deaths linked to COVID-19.
The highest number of new cases in Europe was reported in Britain, Turkey and Russia.
Russia on Thursday recorded the highest daily number of coronavirus infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic, a rapidly rising toll that has strained the country’s health system.
The government‘s coronavirus task force has reported 31,299 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 986 deaths in the past 24 hours.
The country has repeatedly seen a record daily death toll in recent weeks, as infections soar amid slow vaccination rates and lax enforcement of protective measures against the coronavirus.
-From The Associated Press, last updated 7:10 am ET
What’s happening across Canada
What is happening in the world
As of Thursday morning, more than 239.2 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a tool from Johns Hopkins University. The death toll worldwide was over 4.8 million.
In the Americas, besieged business owners and families separated by a non-essential travel ban are celebrating after the Biden administration announced it would reopen U.S. land borders next month.
Travel across the land borders of Canada and Mexico has been largely limited to workers whose jobs are deemed essential. New rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the United States for any reason starting in early November.
Unlike air travel, where proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required before boarding a flight to enter the United States, no testing will be required to enter the United States by land or sea. , provided that travelers meet the vaccination requirements.
The 19-month restrictions on coronaviruses have had an economic, social and cultural impact, preventing cross-border shopping and family reunions when loved ones live on different sides of the border.
In Africa, Nigeria will require officials to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test for the disease to access their offices from early December, a presidential committee said on Wednesday.
In the Asia Pacific region, Melbourne will emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown months next week ahead of schedule, while New Zealand has reported its biggest increase in COVID-19 infections in six weeks.
South Korea has reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections for the 100th consecutive day as an epidemic from the delta continues to spread in the greater capital region. Health officials say 1,580 of the 1,940 new cases reported Thursday are in the Seoul metropolitan area.
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, spokesman Gabriel Attal said.
In the Middle EastIran reported 12,298 new COVID-19 cases and 194 more deaths on Wednesday.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated 7:15 am ET