Geneva, Aug 4 (AP) There were more than 4 million new COVID-19 cases reported globally in the last week, driven mostly by spikes in the Middle East and Asia.

That's according to the World Health Organization's latest weekly report on the pandemic.

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The U.N. health agency said Wednesday infections have been increasing for more than a month, although the worldwide number of deaths dropped by about 8%.

In the Middle East and Asia, however, deaths increased by more than a third. In the last week, the highest numbers of coronavirus cases were reported by the U.S., India, Indonesia, Brazil and Iran. More than 130 countries have now reported cases of the easier-to-spread delta variant, first identified in India.

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After nearly a month of rising cases, WHO said the European region reported a 9% drop in COVID-19 infections, citing falling caseloads in Britain and Spain. Last month, the U.K. relaxed nearly all remaining COVID-19 restrictions amid heavy criticism the move would lead to another deadly wave of infections. Nearly 60% of the British population has been fully immunised against the disease. (AP)

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