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WHO warns of new COVID variants; says ‘can't take eyes of the virus’

By Livemint
The UN health agency in its weekly report pointed out that about 3.5 million new cases and more than 25,000 deaths were reported globally, which respectively represent decreases of 12% and 25%. (REUTERS)

During a recent conference, WHO's Maria Van Kerkhove said, "What we can say is as this virus evolves, the latest variants—Omicron and all the sub-lineages—are more transmissible than the last variant circulating and we know that that will continue. There will be more variants of SARS-CoV-2."

Hence, “we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball for this virus despite all of the other challenges circulating."

At the event, the WHO official also pointed out that it cannot be said that the acute phase of COVID is over. "We live in an interconnected world. And so while some countries may have been able to end the emergency phase of this pandemic, we don't see that in all countries worldwide. So we need to continue to fight this at a global level."

The UN health agency in its weekly report pointed out that about 3.5 million new cases and more than 25,000 deaths were reported globally, which respectively represent decreases of 12% and 25%.

WHO's report noted that some of the biggest jumps in COVID-19 cases were seen in China, which saw a 145% rise in the last week. And this promted the WHO chief questioning the sustainability of the country's zero-Covid policy, the head of the world health organisation has been targeted on Chinese social media platforms.

WHO chief had said, "When we talk about the zero-COVID strategy, we don't think that it's sustainable, considering the behaviour of the virus now and what we anticipate in the future."

WHO also said there were only two regions where reported COVID-19 infections increased: the Americas, by 14%, and Africa, by 12%. Cases remained stable in the Western Pacific and fell everywhere else. However, it stressed the decrease in cases is due to the drop in the number of tests worlwide.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Dive Deeper:
Emergency phase of pandemic is not over…: WHO data on current COVID situation worldwide
While some countries may have been able to end the emergency phase of this pandemic, we don't see that in…
WHO: COVID-19 falling everywhere, except Americas and Africa
The World Health Organization says the number of new coronavirus cases reported worldwide has continued to fall except in the…
Two covid symptoms you should 'take seriously' amid new variant warning
People are being warned to not ignore two particular signs
WHO: COVID-19 Falling Everywhere, Except Americas and Africa
The number of new coronavirus cases reported worldwide has continued to fall except in the Americas and Africa, the World…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
India daily Covid-19 case count increases to 2,858; Delhi accounts for 899 cases
Covid-19 in India: Among the 2,858 Covid-19 cases, Delhi accounts for the most number of Covid cases at 899 with…
North Korea COVID outbreak raises new variant concerns: WHO warns
Certainly, it's worrying if countries ... are not using the tools that are now available, said WHO
Get all your news in one place