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2nd wave heaven forbid

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People enjoy the sunshine in a park in Rome, Italy, which recorded its highest one-day coronavirus infections on Wednesday, the peak point so far in a second wave that started in late September. The latest data from the Italian Ministry of Health showed 7,332 new infections between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Recent spikes in coronavirus infections in the most unexpected places in the advanced countries of Europe are the most compelling reason not to let the guard down despite the improving local situation.

After painstaking lockdowns that have considerably slowed down the economy, cases of contamination had leveled off in the Philippines while deaths continue to be low.

Around the world, however, the pandemic has continued to pick up speed over the past week, with 342,550 new daily cases, an increase of nine percent over the previous week, according to the latest independent tally.

It is in Europe that the rate of infections has increased most, spiraling by a huge 44 percent. The number of new average daily cases there is around 121,227, against 84,400 the previous week.

It is in Switzerland where the pandemic is growing most with a 146 percent rise, or 1,771 new daily cases on average, among the countries which have recorded more than 1,000 daily cases over the past week.

 

Belgium follows with 125 percent, or 6,235 cases, Poland (111 percent, 5,472 cases), Italy (106 percent, 6,172 cases) and Slovakia (78 percent, 1,214 cases).

The number of cases also rose in Oceania by 66 percent, in North America by 17 percent and Africa by 16 percent.

However, the number of infections has decreased in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the Middle East by 15 percent, as well as in Asia (down by seven percent).

Preserving the gains against the unforgiving virus will take more of the discipline and commitment shown by the government and the people thus far.

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