Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-03-22 Origin: Site
On March 18, local time, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva, "After a few weeks of decline, the number of new crown cases reported globally has increased again, especially in parts of Asia." WHO experts have issued a warning, calling on countries not to think the outbreak is over.
Seoul, South Korea reports more than 11 million positive cases globally in the past week. According to the United Nations website, in the past week, countries reported an 8% increase in new crown cases to the WHO, with more than 11 million positive tests.
Tedros noted that while some countries have reduced testing, cases are still rising, "meaning the cases we're seeing are just the tip of the iceberg." When cases increase, so do deaths.
He added that outbreaks are expected to continue everywhere, especially in areas where measures to prevent transmission have been lifted, but mortality rates are unacceptably high in many countries, especially among vulnerable populations with low levels of vaccination nation.
Tedros reiterated: "Each country faces different situations and faces different challenges, but the pandemic is not over."
Variants and cancellations fuel outbreaks, A number of factors are driving the global increase in cases, the first of which is a more transmissible variant, explained Dr. She warned: "Omicron has a very high level of worldwide transmission. The variant has sublineages BA.1 and BA.2, with BA.2 being more transmissible, which we have seen so far. The most transmissible variant of the new coronavirus." Of the more than 400,000 sample sequences tested in the past 30 days, 99.9% were Omicron variants and 75% corresponded to sublineage BA.2. "We haven't seen an increase in the severity of BA.2," she said. "However, with a high number of cases, you'll see an increase in hospitalizations, which we've seen in country after country."
Another factor contributing to the increase in new cases is the cancellation of public health and social measures.
Kerhoff warned that lifting the mask mandate, lifting social distancing, and lifting measures restricting people's movement provided an opportunity for the virus to spread.
The expert also noted that "a lot of misinformation" has created a lot of confusion among people. The misinformation "believes Omicron is mild, that the outbreak is over, that this is the last variant we have to deal with."
Ryan, executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme, stressed that the new coronavirus has not "stabilized" and developed into a purely seasonal disease or a predictable pattern.
He said the idea that "the outbreak in the northern hemisphere is over and now we have to wait until next winter" is dangerous. "For example we are seeing a surge in cases in the UK and we need to be very vigilant and cautious about that."
Ryan added that the virus is very adaptable and spreads easily and could continue to spread around the world in the face of weakened immunity and vaccines that don't do a good job of fighting off infection.
He pointed out that the new coronavirus sometimes spreads rapidly in some places and then moves to another area with weakened immunity. The virus increases susceptibility and will live in these susceptible areas for several months until another susceptible area opens.
Tedros, Kerhoff and Ryan all spoke about the importance of vaccination, noting that most deaths still occur in unvaccinated, older adults and people with underlying conditions who are not fully vaccinated.
Ryan urges every country to revisit vaccination levels for the most vulnerable and ensure everyone who is vulnerable gets at least two doses of an effective vaccine
Kerhof explained that the data show that the new crown vaccine is still very effective in preventing severe disease and death, including against the Omicron variant.
The world also needs a very robust surveillance system for the new coronavirus to understand how the virus is evolving, she said.
"Despite all the challenges we face, we still need to continue testing and we still need to maintain a robust sequencing effort and ensure that the sequences we share are geographically representative," she stressed.
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