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World Covid cases rocket by a fifth

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AFP database: 18 percent rise  The average number of new daily coronavirus cases over the past week increased by 18 percent to more than 749,000, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

It was the tenth consecutive weekly rise. The highest percentage flare ups took place in Oceania, where the number of cases more than doubled, and the United States/Canada zone, where they increased by 55 percent.

The pandemic slowed in Asia and in the Middle East, where cases dropped by 13 and 12 percent respectively. The confirmed cases only reflect a fraction of the actual number of infections, with varying counting practices and levels of testing in different countries. Main spikes  Several countries in Africa, where the highly contagious Omicron

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