COVID infections rise in 110 countries as WHO’s director general warns pandemic is far from over | World News

The World Health Organization (WHO) says COVID-19 infections are on the rise in 110 countries – with the number of cases increasing by 18% in the past week.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the pandemic is far from over – and that the world’s ability to track the genetic evolution of COVID-19 is “under threat” as countries relax restrictions. regime.

Over time, he fears this could make it harder to spot emerging and potentially dangerous variants.

Amount COVID Worldwide deaths have largely remained the same as last week, but there have been increases in three regions: the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

And it is the Middle East that has seen the most marked increase in the number of coronavirus infections in the past seven days – with infection rates increasing by 47%.

Europe and Southeast Asia saw an increase of about 32% in the number of confirmed cases, with the Americas increasing by 14%.

Overall, more than 4.1 million cases were reported globally in the last week, and much of this increase was driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Omicron.

The head of WHO also emphasized his warning that hundreds of millions of people around the world are still unvaccinated.

While 1.2 billion injections have been given globally, the average vaccination rate in poorer countries stands at just 13%.

Figures from Oxfam and the People’s Vaccine Alliance show that less than half of the 2.1 billion vaccines promised by the G7 countries to poorer countries have already been delivered.

In the UK, new figures show that COVID hospitalization rates among older age groups in the UK are continuing to rise – and one in six people over 75 have not received a booster vaccine in the past six months.

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However, patient levels are at the lowest level during the wave of infections earlier this year, and the number of seriously ill people remains low.

Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 now account for more than 50% of all new COVID-19 infections in the UK, and BA.5 is likely to soon become the dominant coronavirus variant in the country.

The UK Health Security Agency said there is “currently no evidence” that the two variants cause more severe disease than the previous variants.

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