COVID-19: Global cases sees biggest fall in two months, says WHO – but UK in top five for new infections

The number of new COVID-19 cases across the world has seen its biggest fall in more than two months, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

New coronavirus infections fell to 3.6 million cases last week – down from the global figure of four million for the previous seven days.

The most COVID cases were seen in the UK, US, India, Turkey, and the Philippines.

In its latest update on the pandemic, the WHO said two regions saw a major decrease in fresh cases – a 22% fall in the Middle East and a 16% drop in South East Asia.

The UN health agency added there were just under 60,000 deaths in the past week, a 7% decline.

It said that while South East Asia reported a 30% decrease in COVID deaths, the Western Pacific region reported a 7% increase.

In the UK, government figures showed that in the seven days to 21 September, there had been 217,579 positive cases – a weekly fall of 5.7%. Deaths were up nearly 5% to 1,009.

The WHO said the fast-spreading Delta variant has been registered in 185 countries and is present in every part of the world.

It also revised its list of “variants of interest” – those that it believes have the potential to cause big outbreaks.

The agency is tracking the Lambda and Mu variants, which both arose in Latin America but have yet to cause widespread epidemics.

The WHO has previously said that in all countries where the Delta variant is circulating, it has become the predominant form of COVID-19.

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Meanwhile, the UK government has revealed plans to share more than a million doses of coronavirus vaccine with South Korea as part of a swap deal.

The UK is set to ship doses of its Pfizer stockpile to South Korea, which is trying to fully vaccinate 70% of its population by the end of October.

The Department of Health said it will not have any impact on the UK’s programme to roll out booster shots.

As part of the deal, South Korea will return the same number of doses to Britain by the end of the year.

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