COVID-19 cases, deaths continue to drop globally, WHO says
In its newest report on the pandemic issued on Wednesday, the U.N. well being company stated new COVID-19 infections dropped by 5% within the final week, persevering with a declining pattern that began greater than a month in the past. Deaths have been additionally down by 8% and have been falling globally for the final two weeks.
Solely the Western Pacific noticed an increase in coronavirus circumstances, reporting a 46% enhance. Within the final week, Hong Kong has been recording about 150 deaths per day, giving it the world’s highest loss of life charge per 1 million individuals, in accordance to knowledge from Oxford College.
The extremely infectious omicron variant has not too long ago overwhelmed the semi-autonomous Chinese language metropolis, prompting mass quarantines, grocery store panic shopping for and even town’s morgues are overflowing, forcing authorities to retailer our bodies in refrigerated transport containers.
Elsewhere, COVID-19 is falling considerably; the largest declines have been seen within the Center East and Africa, the place circumstances dropped by 46% and 40%, respectively.
“The mildness of the omicron wave, its low death toll and the fact that it is rapidly disappearing, has created the widespread impression that COVID-19 is over,” stated Salim Abdool Karim of the College of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. He stated it’s nonetheless unclear when the pandemic may finish, however stated the low loss of life toll in the course of the omicron surge was putting.
Many scientists have credited that to the booster immunization packages undertaken in quite a few wealthy international locations, which have damaged the connection between COVID-19 an infection and extreme illness.
Earlier this week, an skilled group convened by WHO stated it “strongly supports urgent and broad access” to booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine amid the worldwide unfold of omicron, capping a reversal of the U.N. company’s repeated insistence final 12 months that boosters weren’t needed for wholesome individuals.
WHO Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pleaded with wealthy international locations not to supply boosters and to ship doses to Africa as a substitute, saying there was no scientific justification to warrant boosters for wholesome individuals.
Quite a few scientific research have since confirmed that booster doses of approved vaccines assist restore waning immunity and defend in opposition to critical COVID-19, particularly amid the worldwide unfold of omicron.
Observe AP protection of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic