The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 241.6 million on Wednesday, while the death toll edged above 4.91 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University . The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 45.1 million cases and 728,296 deaths. The U.S. is averaging more than 1,500 deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker, although cases and hospitalizations are declining. The World Health Organization said the only region with rising cases in the past week was Europe, where the U.K., Russia and Turkey are suffering the most new infections. In its weekly epidemiological update, the agency said more than half of European countries reported a rise in their numbers in the most recent week and cases rose by about 1.3 million. The news comes as Russia, the country with the most COVID fatalities in the region, repeatedly set new one-day death toll records as its population continues to avoid vaccination. And while the head of Britain's National Health Service has urged the government to introduce stricter COVID-19 protocols including mask-wearing and the faster vaccination of children, politicians have so far demurred, as the Associated Press reported.. India is second by cases after the U.S. at 34.1 million and has suffered 452,651 deaths. Brazil has second highest death toll at 603,855 and 21.7 million cases. In Europe, Russia has 222,3120 deaths, followed by the U.K. at 139,265.