Global numbers of people who are suffering from chronic respiratory infections are being left behind in their home countries, with the rate of decline continuing.
The current study examined 11 countries where COVID-19 cases have reached a 20-year low, with 738 cases remaining active and 18,000 cases per 100,000 people.
Some 54% of these cases remain in their home country, with 11% in Europe. The country with the fewest cases was New Zealand (7th-highest (23 cases)).In South America (known as the South American region), only 10 countries remained with 1,000 new cases reported per 100,000 people, and in North America with 2,000.
So far, only China, Thailand and Japan have reported fewer cases per 100,000 people than Germany, France, Japan and Russia. Japan remains the worst hit country, reported five patients per 100,000, while Germany has killed 84 people in COVID-19.
Health officials hailed a “tactical pause” in the disease in a new WHO guideline on Wednesday, admitting it was too soon to say the end was yet to come.
“We hope the camps have seen a marked slowdown in outbreaks and are able to have some sound scientific data on COVID-19,” David Marquez, the agency’s top emergencies expert, told a virtual briefing.
Latin America accounts for more than half of the world’s total cases and deaths, while Europe accounts for about half of the cases and deaths, he said.
In Asia, Japan recorded 10 cases per 100,000 people, the highest in the Asian region at 7 per 100,000, while South Korea, South Africa, Taiwan and Vietnam broke records for new infections, with 6,000 total cases reported.
Mexico had 4,874 cases, the world’s second-highest, with 3,499 deaths, and Peru 936 deaths, pushing the death toll above France and Spain.
The Philippines, Brazil and Russia, which emerged as the World Health Organization’s top hotspots, reported fewer cases per 100,000 than the United States and Australia.
On Wednesday, the WHO’s emergencies chief, Mike Ryan, said it should be “pretty extraordinarily progressive” if more people were infected, than the 250,000 who died globally from COVID-19 in the first half of 2021.
Japan on Wednesday reported 13 new coronavirus cases and one new death, bringing the country’s total reported death toll to 23.
The first case of the novel coronavirus was reported on Jan. 20 in Wuhan in China where the novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,200 people and infected about 40,000.
The first death was reported on Jan. 21 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in China.
There have been 81 confirmed cases in 23 other countries and regions outside China at the end of Jan. 20, up from six cases a day earlier.
Most cases reported outside China have been in people who have come into contact with those infected in Wuhan, and have been either hospitalized or have died.
The WHO has said it had no evidence that the novel coronavirus is spreading in sub-Saharan Africa, where it has caused three deaths.
South Africa on Wednesday reported three cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of known infections to six. About 10% of South Africa’s confirmed cases are believed to be imported.