March 17, 2022 — After a number of weeks of declines in new reported circumstances of COVID-19, the numbers are rising globally as soon as once more, notably in components of Asia and Western Europe, the World Well being Group says.
“These will increase are occurring regardless of reductions in testing in some nations, which implies the circumstances we’re seeing are simply the tip of the iceberg,” WHO Director-Common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, mentioned at a information briefing Wednesday.
Consequently, native outbreaks and surges in COVID-19 circumstances are seemingly, “notably in areas the place measures to forestall transmission have been lifted,” he mentioned.
And demise charges stay excessive in many countries, notably these with low ranges of vaccination.
“Every nation is going through a special scenario with completely different challenges, however the pandemic just isn’t over,” Tedros mentioned.
“I repeat, the pandemic just isn’t over.”
His assertion comes amid a reported 46% increase in COVID-19 circumstances within the U.Ok. and a jump in case numbers in China. Across the globe, weekly COVID-19 circumstances are up 8%, the WHO introduced, regardless of a big discount in testing for COVID-19.
Given these studies, “we have to be very cautious. We have to watch this very fastidiously, and we have to deal with getting essentially the most weak appropriately vaccinated,” mentioned Michael Ryan, MD, govt director of the WHO Well being Emergencies Program.
Pockets of Pandemic Attainable
“This virus remains to be shifting round fairly simply. Within the context of waning immunity and the truth that vaccines do not work completely, the chances are high that this virus will echo all over the world,” Ryan mentioned.
The coronavirus can persist for a very long time, even in small communities, ready for its subsequent alternative to unfold.
“It’s going to survive in these pockets for months and months till one other pocket of susceptibility opens up,” Ryan mentioned.
The COVID-19 Image in Ukraine
Even because the battle in Ukraine enters its fourth week, the COVID-19 surveillance and reporting system stays largely intact, mentioned Adelheid Marschang, MD, the senior emergency officer for the WHO Well being Emergencies Program.
“We see on the similar time that the testing has decreased,” she mentioned.
“Nonetheless, we have now captured now, I believe, one thing like greater than 30,000 new circumstances.”
Recognizing Pandemic Fatigue
The issues driving the worldwide will increase in case detection “are the identical elements which have been driving transmission of this virus because the starting of the pandemic,” mentioned Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD.
“We utterly perceive that the world wants to maneuver on from COVID-19. However this virus spreads very effectively between individuals,” mentioned Van Kerkhove, technical lead for COVID-19 response on the WHO and a Well being Emergencies Program skilled.
“If we do not have the appropriate interventions in place, the virus will take alternatives to proceed to unfold. And the extra the virus spreads, the extra alternatives it has to alter.”