Worldwide COVID Cases Reached New Weekly Record
April 23, 2021 — More COVID-19 cases were reported worldwide last week than in any other 7-day period during the pandemic, according to new data published Tuesday by the World Health Organization.
Last week’s tally of 5.24 million new cases broke the previous record of 5.04 million new cases reported at the beginning of January.
Globally, new COVID-19 cases rose for the eighth consecutive week, and new COVID-19 deaths increased for the fifth consecutive week. More than 83,000 new deaths were reported, which is an 8% jump from the previous week.
The overall COVID-19 death toll surpassed 3 million last week, the WHO said. It took 9 months to reach 1 million deaths, then 4 months to surpass 2 million, and 3 months to pass 3 million, according to The New York Times.
All regions reported an increase in cases during the past week except for Europe, which saw a 3% decline, the WHO said. The largest increase continues to be reported in Southeast Asia, which is largely driven by a surge in infections in India.
India reported more than 314,800 cases on Thursday, breaking the worldwide record for the most infections recorded in a single day. The U.S. set the previous record of more than 300,600 cases on Jan. 8.
India now accounts for nearly one-third of all new cases worldwide, the WHO said. The country’s total neared 16 million cases on Thursday, second only to the 31.8 million infections reported by the U.S. during the pandemic.
A large number of hospitals in India are reporting shortages of beds, medicines and oxygen, particularly in the capital region of New Delhi. On Wednesday, the New Delhi High Court ordered the government to divert oxygen from industrial use to hospitals, the Associated Press reported.
“You can’t have people die because there is no oxygen,” the court wrote. “Beg, borrow or steal, it is a national emergency.”
India reported the highest number of new cases last week with more than 1.4 million infections, which was a 64% increase, according to the WHO report. The U.S. reported the second-highest number with 477,000 new cases, which was a 2% increase. Brazil and Turkey also reported more than 400,000 new cases during the past week.