WHO Says Number of New Covid Cases Fell Last Week; Global Declining Trend Continues

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The World Health Organization says the number of newly reported coronavirus cases fell in the last week, continuing a declining global trend that first began in August. In its latest assessment of the pandemic, the U.N. health agency reported Tuesday that there were 3.1 million new COVID-19 cases, a 9% fall, and about 54,000 deaths in the last week, roughly similar to the week before. WHO said there were declines in case numbers in all world regions except for Europe, where the number was about the same as the previous week.

COVID-19 cases fell by about 43% in Africa, by about 20% in both the Middle East and Southeast Asia and 12% in the Americas and the Western Pacific. The largest decline in deaths was seen in Africa, where numbers decreased by about a quarter.

WHO also said nearly a third of African countries managed to vaccinate at least 10% of their populations by the end of September. The WHO chief has repeatedly urged rich countries to pass on giving booster doses until at least the end of the year.

On Monday, the European Medicines Agency gave its endorsement to EU countries offering a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot to people 18 and over.

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