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| Last Updated:20/05/2024

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5.2 million cases: World sees worst-ever week so far

 Agencies | , Washington, Geneva

UPDATED ON APR 20, 2021 12:12 AM IST

India and Brazil are bearing the brunt as Covid-19 continues to roil continents.

More people were diagnosed with Covid-19 during the past seven days than during any other week since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic - topping 5.2 million globally - with the worst outbreaks accelerating in many countries that are ill-equipped to deal with them.


The worrisome trend, just days after the world surpassed 3 million deaths, comes as countries are rolling out vaccinations in an effort to get the coronavirus under control. The data from Johns Hopkins University showing a 12% increase in infections from a week earlier casts doubt on the hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight.


The weekly increase surpassed the previous high set in mid-December. While infection rates have largely slowed in the US and UK, countries in the developing world - India and Brazil in particular - are shouldering surging caseloads.


The global death toll from the deadly disease is also resuming momentum. Covid-19 fatalities have increased for the past month and were about 82,000 the week ended April 18, an average of almost 12,000 a day.


That’s up from just over 60,000 in the week ended March 14, or about 8,600 a day, the most recent low.


Hugs, tears as bubble opens between Aus, NZ


Families reunited in emotional scenes on Monday as Australia and New Zealand launched a quarantine-free travel bubble that opened the border almost 400 days after its closure. There were ecstatic welcomes at airport terminals on both sides of the Tasman Sea. The bubble followed months of negotiations between the two neighbours.


Travellers between the two countries had been previously required to quarantine for at least two weeks upon arrival at their destinations.


Oxford study to reinfect recovered patients


People who have fought off Covid-19 will be reinfected in a first-of-its-kind trial at University of Oxford, potentially illuminating how to develop more effective vaccines against the virus.


Researchers are looking for 64 healthy, previously-infected volunteers aged 18 to 30 years to be studied under controlled conditions. They’ll be infected with the original strain that had emerged in Wuhan.