Singapore, Slovakia spikes amid global dip

·2-min read

Coronavirus infections are rising in Singapore and Slovakia but the number of global cases is waning, the World Health Organisation says.

Singapore's health ministry reported 2268 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.

The country also reported eight new deaths due to the coronavirus.

A recent rise in cases after the relaxation of some COVID-19 measures has prompted Singapore to pause further reopening.

More than 80 per cent of its population has been vaccinated against the virus.

From this week, Singapore tightened some curbs such as limiting social gatherings to two people and making work from home a default.

Coronavirus infections have also been rising in Slovakia, reaching the highest levels in six months.

The health ministry said the daily increase in new cases reached 1459 on Tuesday, the highest number since April 7.

It was 1180 cases a week ago.

There were 14 reported deaths on Tuesday for a total of 12,620 in the country of 5.5 million, the most since mid-June.

Also, the number of people needing hospitalisation reached 531, the highest since May.

So far, 2.4 million people in Slovakia have received at least one shot of a vaccine, one of the lowest vaccination rates among European Union countries.

The World Health Organisation reported that the global number of new coronavirus cases and deaths continued to fall in the past week, with an estimated 3.3 million new infections and about 55,000 deaths, marking a 10 per cent drop in both.

In its regular assessment of the pandemic issued on Tuesday, the UN health agency said the biggest drops in new cases was registered in the Middle East, the western Pacific and the Americas.

WHO first reported a substantial decrease in cases in mid-September at 4 million new cases, with declines seen in all areas of the world, the first time in more than two months that COVID-19 cases had fallen.

WHO said all regions reported more than a 15 per cent decline in deaths except for Europe, where the number of deaths was similar to the previous week, and Africa where there was about a 5 per cent rise.

In Asia, the number of deaths dropped by nearly a quarter.

The WHO warned there would likely be more spikes of COVID-19 as the northern hemisphere enters winter.

The disease spreads more easily during winter as people spend more time indoors.

Distancing restrictions also are being relaxed in many countries that have a relatively high level of vaccination.

with AP

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