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Coronavirus Watch


Global Statistics

The coronavirus pandemic appears to be accelerating worldwide, with new cases soaring last week to a new seven-day high of almost 2 million even as new deaths decreased, World Health Organization (WHO) statistics show. In its latest global update late on Monday, the UN health body said 1,998,897 new cases of the novel coronavirus had been registered around the world during the week ending on September 20.

That marked a 6-percent increase from the week before and “the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic,” the WHO said.

Nearly all regions of the world saw new cases rise last week, WHO said, with Europe and the Americas seeing new cases swell by 11 and 10 percent respectively. Only Africa, which has remained relatively unscathed by the pandemic, dodged the upward trend, reporting a 12-percent drop in new cases from a week earlier.

Even as cases shot up across much of the world, the number of deaths is going down, the WHO statistics showed, marking a decline of 10 percent compared with the previous week. The decline was driven by the Americas, long the hardest-hit region, where new deaths were 22 percent lower than a week earlier, and by Africa where new deaths dropped 16 percent.

India reported 80,391 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to federal health data released on Tuesday, the lowest daily tally in almost a month. With more than 5.5 million cases, India is behind only the United States in the total number of confirmed infections and it has the third-highest number of deaths worldwide with over 90,000.

South Africa recorded 1 346 new coronavirus cases. This brings the total number of cases to 663 282. The country also recorded 126 new COVID-19 related fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to 16 118. The number of recoveries now stands at 592 904, this translates to a recovery rate of 89, 4%.

Cases in Morocco have now surpassed those in Egypt, with Morocco recording 105,346 cases and 1,889 deaths. The country second to South Africa has been recording the second highest deaths and positive cases in the continent.

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U.S. CDC takes down coronavirus airborne transmission guidance

The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday took down its guidance warning on possible airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus, saying that the draft recommendation was posted in error.

The now-withdrawn guidance, posted on the agency’s website on Friday, recommended that people use air purifiers to reduce airborne germs indoors to avoid the disease from spreading.

The health agency had said that COVID-19 could spread through airborne particles that can remain suspended in the air and travel beyond six feet. Presently, the agency’s guidance says the virus mainly spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, which can land in the mouth or nose of people nearby.

The World Health Organisation has not changed its policy on aerosol transmission of the coronavirus, it said on Monday. The agency still believes the disease is primarily spread through droplets, but that in enclosed crowded spaces with inadequate ventilation, aerosol transmission can occur, said Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s emergencies program.

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