In WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan’s reply to World Bank Advisors, a vivid warning

In the WHO chief scientist's reply to the World Bank Advisor, a vivid warning

COVID-19: WHO says globally, weekly cases increased for fifth week

United Nations / Geneva:

Be prepared for new waves of COVID-19, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has warned, amid the emergence of new variants that are more transmissible, dodge immunity and more concerns about more hospitalizations.

There is ample evidence that the sub-Omicron bacteria – BA.4 and BA.5 – are infecting vaccinated people.

“We need to prepare for these waves of #COVID19 – each new #variant is more contagious and avoids immunity – higher numbers of infections will lead to more hospitalizations & illnesses. All countries must have a data-driven plan to quickly respond to changing situations,” Swaminathan tweeted on Thursday.

She tweeted in response to a Twitter thread by Senior Advisor at the World Bank Group Philip Schellekens, who said that “we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 mortality globally . After months of decline, it has started to rise again”, which is not a big surprise “given the characteristics of BA.5, the relaxed attitude towards infection control and three-quarters of the world’s population world is not up to date on vaccinations.”

Schellekens said the pandemic is intensifying in high-income countries, and upper-middle-income countries are also seeing an increase in new cases.

He noted that the US, France, Italy, Germany and Japan were the “drivers of the global rise” among high-income countries, and that Brazil, an upper-middle-income country, was leading the way. developing world.

“The death rate has started to rise slightly,” he said, adding that the US and Brazil are now the main contributors to the global death rate.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a press conference earlier this week, said he was concerned that COVID-19 cases were on the rise – putting further pressure on health systems that were being dragged length and medical staff. “I am also concerned about the increasing mortality trend,” he said.

The WHO chief noted that sub-variants of Omicron, such as BA.4 and BA.5, continue to drive waves of cases, hospitalizations and deaths around the world.

Surveillance has also dramatically decreased – including testing and sequencing – making it increasingly difficult to assess the impact of variants on transmission, disease characteristics, and effectiveness of countermeasures. difficult.

“The virus is roaming freely and countries are not effectively managing the disease burden based on their capacity, both in terms of hospitalization rates for acute cases and the growing number of people infected. after COVID-19 – commonly known as a long-term illness,” he said.

“New waves of viruses prove again that COVID-19 is nowhere to be found. When the virus hits us, we have to push back,” Ghebreyesus said.

The WHO’s COVID-19 weekly epidemiology update, published this week, said that globally, weekly cases rose for the fifth consecutive week, following a downward trend since the last peak. in March 2022.

During the week of July 4 to 10, more than 5.7 million new cases were reported, up 6% from the previous week.

The number of new weekly deaths is comparable to that reported in the previous week, with more than 9,800 deaths reported to WHO.

As of July 10, just under 553 million cases have been confirmed and more than 6.3 million deaths have been reported globally.

“These trends should be interpreted with caution as several countries have been gradually changing their COVID-19 testing strategies, resulting in a lower overall number of tests performed and thus a lower number of tests performed. detected cases are also lower”.

At the national level, the highest number of new weekly cases were reported from France (7,71,260 new cases; 6%), United States (7,22,924 new cases; -6%), Italy (661,984 new cases; – 6%), Italy (661,984 new cases; -6%) number of cases; 30%), Germany (561,136 new cases; -9%), and Brazil (396,781 new cases; -3%).

Highest number of new weekly deaths reported from US (1987 new deaths; -19%), Brazil (1,639 new deaths; 11%), China (692 new deaths; -8% ), Spain (619 new deaths; 98%), and Italy (574 new deaths; 33%).

The update said Southeast Asia has reported an upward trend in cases since the beginning of June, with more than 164,000 new cases reported, up 5% from the previous week.

Four out of 10 countries with data showed an increase in new cases of 20% or more, with some of the largest proportional increases observed in Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The highest number of new cases in the region were reported from India (120,222 new cases; up 7%), Indonesia (17,388 new cases; +29%) and Thailand (14,938 new cases; -6%. ).

The number of new weekly deaths in the region increased 23% from the previous week, with more than 400 new deaths reported.

The highest number of new deaths were reported from India (229 new deaths; +15%), Thailand (135 new deaths; +25%) and Indonesia (42 new deaths; +31%).

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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