Infections have risen to more than 60% in the Middle East and 26% in the Americas, where deaths have occurred everywhere except Africa, where they have jumped nearly 50%.
The COVID-19 figures reported to the WHO do not include recent outbreak figures announced by North Korea, which has not yet officially shared the requested data with the agency.
On Thursday, the authoritarian country led by Kim Jong Un reported more than 262,000 suspected cases as its caseload reached close to 2 million, a week after the country acknowledged the outbreak and slowed the transmission among its undesirable population.
Earlier this week, WHO chief Tedros Adhanam Ghebresas said he was “deeply concerned” about the spread of COVID-19 in North Korea, noting that the population was immunized and that there were a significant number of people with underlying conditions that could put them at risk. More serious diseases and deaths.
Tedros said the agency was working to persuade North Korea to share more information and to receive help, including technical assistance, vaccines, tests and medicine, but no response had been received.
In the western Pacific, the WHO said the highest number of reported cases was in China, which saw a 94% increase, or more than 389,000 new cases. After weeks of sometimes severe and chaotic lockdowns, Chinese authorities have said they will allow some supermarkets, malls and restaurants in its financial capital, Shanghai, to reopen next week under limited circumstances.
The WHO has previously described China’s extreme “zero-covid” approach as “sustainable”, but acknowledged that countries are free to choose their own control strategies.
Follow AP coverage of the epidemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic