GENEVA: The World Health Organization said the number of new coronavirus cases reported globally appears to be stabilizing at about 4.5 million infections after steadily rising for the past two months.
In its weekly assessment of the pandemic, the U.N. health agency said COVID-19 increased by about 20% and 8% in the Western Pacific and in the Americas, while rates of disease either remained the same or dropped in other regions.
The countries with the highest numbers of new cases were the United States, Iran, India, Britain and Brazil.
The assessment released on Tuesday says there were about 68,000 new deaths reported globally, with Europe and the Americas registering increases of about 10%.
WHO also noted several recent studies that show licensed vaccines still provide protection against severe coronavirus disease, but that there is some evidence to show the shots are less effective at preventing people from becoming infected with the more contagious delta variant.
Previous research concluded the vaccines are most useful for preventing hospitalizations and deaths, not virus transmission.