COVID-19 is changing, not over yet; Difficult to analyze emerging forms of future: WHO

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COVID-19 cases rising in 110 countries: WHO

Highlight

  • COVID19 driven by BA.4 and BA.5, cases rising in 110 countries, WHO said
  • This has increased the total global cases by 20 per cent, it said
  • WHO expresses that health workers and older people remain unconnected in low-income countries

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing but not over yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday as cases of the coronavirus continue to rise in 110 countries. Briefing the media on COVID-19 and other global health issues, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that WHO had called on all countries to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of their population.

“This pandemic is changing, but it is not over. Our ability to track the COVID19 virus is at risk as reporting and genomic sequences are dwindling, which means tracking omicrons and analyzing future emerging variants It’s getting tougher,” Ghebreyesus said.

He further said, “Cases are rising in 110 countries in many places driven by COVID19, BA.4 and BA.5, leading to a 20 percent increase in total global cases and deaths in 3 out of 6 WHO regions.” . . even though the global figure has remained relatively stable.”

Speaking on vaccination, he said that over 12 billion vaccines have been distributed globally in the last 18 months.

“On the other hand, millions of people in low-income countries remain unvaccinated, including millions of health workers and older people, which means they are more vulnerable to future waves of the virus,” the WHO chief said.

“Only 58 countries have achieved 70 percent of the target, with some saying that it is not possible for low-income countries to make it,” he said.

Ghebreyesus cited the example of Rwanda where the second dose vaccination rate is now above 65 percent and is still rising. The WHO chief underscored that it is important to keep the most at-risk groups up to date with vaccinations.

Earlier, DG Ghebreyesus said that although monkeypox is not currently a public health emergency of international concern, the emergency nature of the incident requires intensive response efforts.

He further added that Nigeria has been battling a monkeypox outbreak since 2017. The country has reported more cases this year, which could mean it matches or exceeds previous peaks.

Monkeypox has now been identified in more than 50 countries and this trend is likely to continue.

(with inputs from ANI)

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