World Health Organization: COVID-19 deaths fall overall by 9%, infections stable

A man pulls his mask to get his routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

LONDON (AP) - The number of coronavirus deaths fell by 9% in the last week while new cases remained relatively stable, according to the latest weekly pandemic report released by the World Health Organization Wednesday.

The U.N. health agency said there were more than 14,000 COVID-19 deaths in the last week and nearly 7 million new infections. The Western Pacific reported a 30% jump in cases while Africa reported a 46% drop. Cases also fell by more than 20% in the Americas and the Middle East.

The number of new deaths rose by 19% in the Middle East, while dropping by more than 70% in Africa, 15% in Europe and 10% in the Americas.

The WHO said that the omicron subvariant BA.5 remains dominant globally, accounting for nearly 70% of all virus sequences shared with the world's biggest publicly available virus database.