The number of people killed by COVID-19 surged by more than 40% last week, likely due to changes in how COVID-19 deaths were reported across the Americas and by newly adjusted figures from India, according to a WHO report released on Wednesday (March 30).
In the WHO’s latest weekly report on the pandemic, the U.N. health agency said the number of new COVID-19 cases fell everywhere.
The jump in reported COVID-19 deaths was due mainly to an accounting change; WHO noted that countries including Chile and the U.S. altered how they define COVID-19 deaths. In addition, more than 4,000 deaths from Maharashtra state in India that initially weren’t included among the COVID-19 death toll were added last week.
The WHO has said repeatedly that COVID-19 case and death counts are likely a vast underestimate.
World’s Daily COVID-19 Death Count at Lowest Level Since March 2020
COVID-19 cases have fallen in the past week on every continent except Oceania, dropping to levels not seen since before the Omicron variant emerged in December 2021.
In all, a total of 491,255,721 COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide—including 9,368,249 in the past week—for a 15% drop from the previous week in tracking by Worldometers.info on Sunday (April 3).
Daily COVID-19 death counts have plummeted to the lowest level since March 2020.