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WHO warns over soaring Covid-19 cases | News24

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  • Greater than 11 million Covid-19 instances and over 43 000 new deaths had been reported final week.
  • WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has known as on international locations to stay vigilant.
  • Covid-19 has claimed greater than six million deaths globally.

The World Well being Organisation voiced alarm Wednesday that registered Covid instances are as soon as once more rising globally, regardless of testing ranges having dropped considerably.

After falling for weeks, reported Covid instances rose globally by eight p.c final week, with greater than 11 million instances and over 43 000 new deaths registered, WHO stated.

And within the Western Pacific area, new instances shot up final week by a full 29 p.c.

Case numbers within the area have been rising because the finish of December and the Western Pacific has now overtaken Europe as the worldwide hotspot for detected new instances, with 5.02 million, in comparison with 4.99 million in Europe.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, lamented the worldwide enhance, telling a information convention that it got here “regardless of a big discount in testing that is occurring worldwide”.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus agreed, warning that the dearth of visibility resulting from decreased testing meant “the instances we’re seeing are simply the tip of the iceberg.”

“And we all know that when instances enhance, so do deaths,” he stated, highlighting “unacceptably excessive ranges of mortality in lots of international locations, particularly the place vaccination ranges are low amongst prone populations”.

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“We name on all international locations to stay vigilant,” he stated, stressing “the pandemic shouldn’t be over”.

Greater than two years into the pandemic, which has formally claimed greater than six million deaths – with the true determine believed to be a number of instances as excessive – the resurgence in reported instances is because of a “mixture of things”, Van Kerkhove stated.

She highlighted that the Omicron variant was nonetheless spreading “at a really intense stage all over the world”.

One of many sub-lineages of that variant, the BA.2, is especially transmissible and is now by far probably the most prevalent in samples collected and sequenced.

She stated:

That is probably the most transmissible variant we now have seen of the SARS-CoV-2 virus so far.

On the similar time, many international locations have now lifted most if not all Covid restrictions, whereas entry and uptake of vaccines has been inequitable and uneven, making it even simpler for the virus to unfold, she stated.

Van Kerkhove additionally lamented the “enormous quantities of misinformation that is on the market”.

“The misinformation that Omicron is gentle, misinformation that the pandemic is over, misinformation that that is the final variant that we should take care of.

“That is actually inflicting a whole lot of confusion,” she cautioned.

However Ven Kerkhove careworn that the world is aware of methods to rein in Covid.

“The excellent news is that we now have the instruments that may scale back the unfold,” she stated.

“We all know that masking works. We all know that bodily distancing works, we all know that vaccination saves lives.”

“We have to proceed.”

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