WHO: COVID cases fall everywhere, but the pandemic is not over
GENEVA (AP) — The number of new coronavirus cases fell around the world last week by about 12%, according to the World Health Organization’s latest weekly update on the pandemic released Wednesday.
The UN health agency reported that there were just under 4.2 million new infections last week and around 13,700 deaths, a drop of 5%.
« It’s very encouraging, but there is no guarantee that these trends will persist, » WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing. “The most dangerous thing is to assume (they) will,” he said. He added that even though the number of deaths reported each week has fallen by more than 80% since February, one person still dies from COVID-19 every 44 seconds and most of these deaths are preventable.
In its pandemic report, the WHO said COVID-19 deaths fell in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East, but rose in Africa, the Americas and the Pacific. western.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on COVID-19, noted that the virus has not yet settled into a seasonal pattern and that its continued evolution will require constant monitoring and possible changes in diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
Scientists warn that the coronavirus will persist far into the future, in part because it is getting better and better at circumventing immunity from vaccination and past infections. Experts point to emerging research that suggests the latest omicron variant gaining traction in the US – BA.4.6, which was responsible for around 8% of new US infections last week – appears to be even more effective at evading the system immune than the dominant BA. 5.
In China, authorities this week locked down 65 million of its citizens under strict COVID-19 restrictions and are discouraging domestic travel during upcoming national holidays.
Across the country, 33 cities including seven provincial capitals are under full or partial lockdown covering more than 65 million people, according to a tally published late Sunday by Chinese business magazine Caixin.
He said outbreaks were reported in 103 cities, the highest since the early days of the pandemic in early 2020.
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The Associated Press