The Latest: UN: Over 2 million virus cases in just 1 week
LONDON — The World Health Organization said countries globally reported more than 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases last week — the shortest time ever for such an exponential increase since the pandemic began.
In a weekly analysis of COVID-19, WHO said for the second consecutive week, the European region accounted for the biggest proportion of new cases, with more than 1.3 million reported cases or about 46% of the worldwide total. The U.N. health agency said deaths were also on the rise in Europe, with about a 35% spike since the previous week.
“Although the number of deaths is gradually increasing, the proportion of deaths to cases remains relatively low, compared to the early phase of the pandemic in the spring,” WHO said.
The agency also noted that hospitalizations and ICU occupancy due to COVID-19 increased in 21 countries across Europe. It estimated about 18% of COVID-19 were hospitalized, with about 7% needing ICU support or breathing machines.
Globally, WHO said the countries reporting the highest numbers of cases remain unchanged as for the past three weeks: India, the U.S., France, Brazil, and the U.K.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Belgium, host to the 27-nation European Union, becomes Europe's top virus hot spot
— German leader Angela Merkel presses for a partial lockdown to stem a surge of cases
— French markets fall as nation fears President Emmanuel Macron will impose new lockdown
— Protesters clash with police in Rome as unrest grows in Europe over increasing restrictions to fight a surge of coronavirus infections.
— Iowa election officials fear possible illnesses among key workers and volunteers could be a problem through Election Day.