COVID-19 deaths rise by 40%, but new infections falling globally: WHO

COVID-19 deaths rise by 40%, but new infections falling globally: WHO

The number of COVID-19 deaths increased by more than 40 percent last week. According to a recent report released by the World Health Organisation, the new surge is likely due to modifications in how Coronavirus deaths were reported across the Americas as well as the newly adjusted figures from India.

In its latest weekly COVID-19 report, the WHO noted that the number of new infections has reduced in all countries, including the Western Pacific region which was witnessing a rise in cases since December.

Over the past week, about 10 million new COVID-19 infections and over 45,000 deaths were reported in countries across the world.

Time and again, the WHO said that COVID-19 case counts were significantly underestimated as compared to the prevalence of the virus. In this regard, the UN health agency also warned countries against removing their comprehensive testing and precautionary measures, maintaining that such actions would obstruct the ongoing efforts to accurately track the spread of the virus.

“Data are becoming progressively less representative, less timely and less robust. This inhibits our collective ability to track where the virus is, how it is spreading and how it is evolving: information and analyses that remain critical to effectively end the acute phase of the pandemic," the WHO said.

The health agency also cautioned that reduced surveillance would potentially impact the efforts to new COVID-19 variants as well as undermine a potential response.

Recently, countries across Europe, North America and other regions eased their COVID-19 protocols after achieving high levels of vaccination. However, the more infectious Omicron subvariant BA.2 is resulting in a rise in new infections.

UK health authorities pointed out that there has been no rise in hospitalisations and deaths due to COVID-19 even as cases are expected to rise.

Last week, China locked down Shanghai with the aim of containing the impact of an Omicron outbreak which caused the biggest rise in infections in the country since the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan in 2019.

On Tuesday, US health regulators expanded the scope of use of vaccine boosters in the country. Now, Americans aged 50 and older can receive a second booster dose at least four months after their last vaccination.

Meanwhile, an AP-NORC poll has found that less than half of Americans are now regularly wearing face masks and following other safety measures such as avoiding crowds and skipping non-essential travel.

SOURCE: Khaleej Times


Share the article: