The number of COVID-19 deaths worldwide is on the rise — climbing by 11 percent compared to the previous week, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

More than 71,000 people died from the virus in a week-long period that ended on Monday, according to the UN agency.

Every region recorded an increase in deaths except for Africa, which had a 20 percent decrease compared to the previous week, the organization said.

Southeast Asia reported the largest spike with a 46 percent jump in fatalities, as India recorded at least 3,071 deaths, according to the report.

Brazil led the world as the country with the highest number of deaths, as 21,094 people died last week from the virus.

The US followed with more than 7,536 deaths, an 8 percent increase, the agency said.

A family says goodbye to a relative during a funeral in the Vila Formosa cemetery, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 24, 2021.


Funeral Director Bobby Palliser prepares a coffin in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, Britain, March 19, 2021.

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Workers using an excavator to burry the coffin containing the body of a COVID-19 victim during a funeral in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 26, 2021.


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, pointed to more promising signs of recovery in the US on Wednesday — noting that the average daily death toll for the period between March 30 and April 5 had dropped nearly 20 percent.

Experts have been reluctant to declare victory in the pandemic despite more COVID-19 vaccines becoming available across the globe.

A WHO-led initiative dubbed Covax has pushed for more vaccines to be sent to developing nations.

“WHO will continue to call on governments to share vaccine doses and fill the $22.1 billion gap,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing Wednesday.

“We will also look to find new ways to work with manufacturers to boost overall vaccine production,” he added.


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