LARKSPUR, CALIFORNIA - MAY 05: Signage is posted at a Curative COVID-19 test facility at the Larkspur Ferry terminal on May 05, 2022 in Larkspur, California. According to the World Health Organization, (WHO) an estimated 15 million people have died from COVID-19 related illness around the world. WHO believes that many countries underreported COVID-19 deaths and the 15 million deaths figure is a more realistic total compared to the 5.4 million reported global deaths. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says the number of coronavirus cases rose by 18% in the last week, with more than 4.1 million new cases reported globally. The U.N. health agency said the worldwide number of deaths remained relatively similar to the week before, at about 8,500, but increased in three regions: the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas. WHO said in its latest weekly pandemic report that the biggest rise in new COVID-19 cases was seen in the Middle East, where they increased by 47%. The report released late Wednesday says infections rose by about 32% in Europe and Southeast Asia, and by about 14% in the Americas.