The number of the so-called active cases - patients who are currently infected - continues to rise rapidly, increasing by about 500,000 this week. Active cases account for 23.3% of the overall case count.
The percentage of recoveries remained practically unchanged during the past seven days, increasing from 68% to slightly less than 69%. A total of 1.7 million patients recovered in the reported period.
Some 37,000 novel coronavirus-related deaths were registered in the past seven days, bringing the overall death toll to 983,000.
The fatality rate plunged to its record low of about 3%.
Sharp growth in cases
In relative terms, the spread of the novel coronavirus worldwide has slowed down. In the past seven days, the case count increased by 6.8%, compared to 7.4% the week before.
However, the disease started to spread rapidly in some countries. The Czech Republic reported a 32-percent increase in cases in the reported period. The overall number of cases in the country reached 58,000 people, and the authorities were forced to introduce a series of restrictions to curb the infection.
Israel also saw the rapid spread of infection in the past seven days, with the number of registered cases increasing by 21%. The country’s government toughened quarantine restrictions, closing all businesses except groceries and pharmacies, and enterprises whose production cycle cannot be stopped. Overall, the country has 212,000 cases of the infection, or about 2.3% of the population.
Argentina’s daily coronavirus case count stood at about 13,000 people in the past seven days. In other words, about 77,000 people contracted the disease in the country in just one week. Overall, the country registered about 678,000 coronavirus cases on its territory since the start of the pandemic.
Europe braces for second wave
On the European continent, France is the most-affected country in the moment, reporting a weekly growth of almost 20%. The number of hospitalized increased by 34% and the number of patients in intensive care - by 40% in the reported period. The country’s overall case count is about to exceed 500,000 people.
On Wednesday, more than 16,000 cases were registered in the country, which is two times as much as the peak figures recorded this spring. The authorities have declared the "maximum alert zone" in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and the surrounding territories, where all bars and restaurants have been closed.
The United Kingdom reported a 9.1% increase in new cases this week, compared to 6.6% the week before. The country’s overall coronavirus case count now stands at 416,000. In a bid to curb the spread of the infection, the government ordered that pubs, bars and restaurants in England and Wales be closed by 10pm and offered table service only.
In Spain, which is the hardest-hit European country in terms of overall number of coronavirus cases, the growth slowed down from 9.4% to 7.6% this week. However, regional authorities continue to reinstate quarantine restrictions amid calls for tougher measures.
In the community of Madrid, the authorities identified the 37 coronavirus-hit zones, home to about one million people in total, and introduced partial lockdowns there. Eight more zones are expected to appear on September 28. The region’s authorities are set to request assistance from the military, the police and the Civil Guard in an attempt to contain the new outbreak. In September, the infection in the country is spreading almost 20 times faster than this summer.