The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 172 million on Friday, while the death toll rose to 3.7 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. remained in the lead globally in cases with 33.3 million and deaths with 596,434, JHU data show, but the seven-day average for cases has fallen 48% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker, for deaths has dropped 28% and for hospitalizations has declined 22% as vaccinations continue to increase. The number of Americans fully vaccinated increased to 136.6 million, or 41.2% of the total population, while the number of people who are at least 18 years old who have been fully vaccinated grew to 134 million, or 52% of the population. The World Health Organization warned on Thursday of a possible third wave of cases in Africa, with eight countries reporting a surge of more than 30% in new infections, the New York Times reported. The variant that first emerged in India, now called delta variant, is believed to be contributing to the surge.
India is second in cases at 28.6 million, and third by fatalities at 340,702, numbers that are held to be vastly undercounted given a shortage of tests. Brazil is third with 16.8 million cases, and second in deaths at 469,388. The U.K. has 4.5 million cases and 128,075 deaths, the fifth-highest toll in the world and most in Europe.
Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.