COVID-19 cases increased nearly 30% in two weeks -WHO

The World Health Organisation says the globally reported cases of COVID-19 have increased by nearly 30 per cent over the past two weeks.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said this during an online COVID-19 media briefing.

Ghebreyesus said that four out of six of the WHO sub-regions saw cases increasing in the last week.

“In Europe and America, BA.4 and BA.5 are driving waves.“In countries like India, a new sub-lineage of BA.2.75 has also been detected, which we’re following,’’ he said.

According to him, compounding the challenge are many factors.

Ghebreyesus said the first was that testing has reduced dramatically in many countries.

He said it obscures the true picture of an evolving virus and the real burden of COVID-19 disease globally.

The director said it also meant that treatments are not given early enough to prevent serious illness and or death.

“Second, new treatments, especially promising new oral antivirals, are still not reaching low and low-middle income countries, depriving whole populations that need them.

“Third, as the virus evolves, vaccine protection while still really effective at preventing serious disease and death does wane.

“Decreasing immunity underscores the importance of boosters, especially for the most at-risk.“Fourth, each wave of the virus leaves more people with the long-COVID or post-COVID condition,’’ he said.

According to Ghebreyesus, it obviously impacts individuals and their families but it also puts an extra burden on health systems, the wider economy, and society-at-large.

He said the challenges required action at a global, national and local level.

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