GENEVA – The World Health Organization said nearly 4 million coronavirus cases were reported globally last week, the first major drop in new infections in more than two months. In recent weeks, nearly 4.4 million new COVID-19 cases have been reported.
In its weekly update released on Tuesday, the United Nations health agency said that every region of the world saw a decline in COVID-19 cases compared to the previous week.
Although the number of deaths worldwide declined to around 62,000, deaths in Africa increased by 7%, with the sharpest decline in Southeast Asia. The highest number of cases were reported in the US, UK, India, Iran and Turkey, and the highly contagious delta variant has now been reported in 180 countries.
The WHO also said that children and adolescents are less affected by COVID-19 than adults, adding that deaths from people under 24 due to the disease account for less than 0.5% of global deaths.
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The WHO has previously said that children should not be given priority for COVID-19 vaccination given the acute shortage of vaccines globally.
Meanwhile, Cambodia on Friday will launch a campaign to introduce COVID-19 vaccination to children aged 6 to 11.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday that action is being taken to allow children to return to school safely after prolonged absences due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an audio message to province and municipality chiefs posted on his Facebook page, he said more than 1.8 million children were expected to get their jabs under the program, which would use the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine.
He also said that he is looking at vaccinating 3-5 year olds soon.