Paris (AFP)

This week, new coronavirus contaminations continued their fall that began a month ago, reaching their lowest level since October: here are the weekly highlights, taken from an AFP database.

An important indicator, however, the number of cases diagnosed only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections and comparisons between countries should be taken with caution, as testing policies differ from one country to another.

- Almost halved -

With 412,700 contaminations recorded daily this week, the indicator continues its fall that began a month ago, according to an AFP report stopped on Thursday.

New contaminations have continued to decline (-16% this week) since the record of 743,000 new daily cases reached during the week of January 5 to 11.

They go down to their lowest level since the week of October 17 to 23.

In one month, the new contaminations at the global level were reduced almost by half (-44.5%).

Never since the start of the pandemic has the indicator experienced such a sharp and prolonged drop.

Noting "almost everywhere in the world a relative decline in epidemics", epidemiologist Antoine Flahault (Institute for Global Health of the University of Geneva) nevertheless calls on AFP to "anticipate the risk of rebounds by learning (. ..) past errors ", in reference to the too rapid deconfinements of summer 2020 in Europe.

- All areas concerned -

All regions of the world have experienced slowdowns this week: -24% in the United States / Canada, -20% in Africa, -18% in Asia, -15% in Europe, -10% in Latin America / Caribbean and - 2% in the Middle East.

The virus hardly circulates in Oceania (12 cases per day, -14%).

- Strongest declines -

This week, the two strongest drops are observed in countries in confinement: Portugal (-54%, 4,200 new cases per day) and Israel (-39%, 4,400).

The Hebrew state, which began gradual deconfinement on Sunday, is also the country with the most advanced vaccination campaign in the world: 44% of its population have already received at least one dose (28% have even received both doses).

Spain (-39%, 18,300 new daily cases), South Africa (-37%, 2,600), Colombia (-35%, 6,300) and Japan (-35%, 1,900) follow.

- Main accelerations -

Iraq is the country where the epidemic is accelerating the most (+ 81%, 1,800 new cases per day), ahead of Jordan (+ 34%, 1,500), Greece (+ 29%, 1,100), Ecuador ( + 21%, 1,300) and Hungary (+ 16%, 1,400).

- The most contaminations -

The United States is by far the country with the highest number of new infections this week, with 101,800 new daily cases (-24%), ahead of Brazil (45,400, -6%), France (18,900, -8 %), Spain (18,300, -39%) and the United Kingdom (15,200, -29%).

But all these countries are experiencing a decline.

As a proportion of the population, excluding micro-states, Montenegro is the country with the most cases this week (606 per 100,000 inhabitants), ahead of the Czech Republic (482) and Israel (356).

- Death -

The United States has recorded the most deaths in the past week (2,784 per day on average), ahead of Mexico (1,187), Brazil (1,058), the United Kingdom (754) and Germany (555 ).

© 2021 AFP