Masks Can Prevent COVID-19 Lockdowns — Top WHO Official

Europe has half the world's 4 million new coronavirus cases

The total number of positive Covid-19 cases recorded by Europe since the start of the pandemic has reached 15,738,179, with a death toll of 354,154. Last week it accounted for 46 per cent of the new global cases and 49 per cent of the deaths, the United Nations health agency's weekly epidemiological update showed. Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Ukraine remain among the hardest-hit countries in the sub-region based on the number of cases per capita.

At the same time though, more than 29,000 new Covid-19 deaths were registered across Europe-an 18 per cent jump from the previous week, it said.

The new coronavirus pandemic has caused more than 1.3 million deaths in the world since the onset of the disease in December.

In the German capital of Berlin, violent clashes between those protesting coronavirus restrictions and police erupted Wednesday near the city center after protesters disregarded police advice to wear masks and social distance.

Southeast Asia was the only region that recorded a drop in cases and deaths.

The U.S. has reported more than 11.5 million coronavirus infections and more than 250,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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Authorities in Tokyo announced almost 500 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, the biggest daily increase in the Japanese capital since the pandemic began.

In the Americas, the organization calculated, the increase in cases was 41%, which forecasts an increase in the fatality rate.

"Many countries are going through this wave, and they're going to go through this wave, and continue through this wave, without vaccines, Ryan said, adding, "We need to understand and internalise that, and realise: we have got to climb this mountain this time, without vaccines".

Pockets of Western Europe have shown signs of turning a corner, particularly in the lowlands near the English Channel.

Virologist Steven Van Gucht, from the Belgian government's Sciensano health group, said the daily average of deaths in the country now stood at 185 people, a 5% decrease compared to the average a week ago.

Over the last week, the daily average of hospital admissions dropped 24 per cent and new infections fell 39 per cent. Cinemas, museums, libraries, zoos and swimming pools are about to be reopened, albeit with limits on the number of people.

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