As case counts fall, WHO chief warns “COVID is not completed”

As case counts fall, WHO chief warns “COVID is not completed”

GENEVA (AP) — The pinnacle of the World Well being Group insisted Wednesday that “COVID is not completed with us,” interesting for extra assist to struggle the pandemic after his company reported that case counts and deaths fell worldwide over the previous week.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, launching a brand new $23 billion marketing campaign to fund WHO’s efforts to steer a good rollout of COVID-19 assessments, remedies and vaccines world wide, cautioned that “illnesses know no borders” and the highly-transmissible omicron variant has proven that “any feeling of security can change in a second.”

WHO’s weekly epidemiological report, launched late Tuesday, confirmed that case counts fell 17% worldwide over the past week, together with a 50% decline in the USA, whereas deaths globally declined 7%.

“Relying on the place you reside, it’d really feel just like the COVID-19 pandemic is nearly over, or, it’d really feel like it’s at its worst,” Tedros stated. “However wherever you reside, COVID isn’t completed with us.”

“We all know this virus will proceed to evolve, however we’re not defenseless,” he added. “We have now the instruments to stop this illness, take a look at for it and to deal with it.”

Omicron, which is extra contagious than different variants however has typically introduced less-severe illness, made up almost 97% of all circumstances tallied by the worldwide virus-tracking platform generally known as GISAID. Simply over 3% had been of the delta variant.

In all, WHO reported greater than 19 million new COVID-19 circumstances and slightly below 68,000 new deaths from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6. Consultants say the figures are believed to vastly underestimate the actual toll.

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Case counts fell in every of WHO’s six areas besides its jap Mediterranean zone, which reported a 36% bounce, notably with will increase in Afghanistan, Iran and Jordan.

In Europe, case counts fell 7% — led by substantial declines in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain — at the same time as international locations in Japanese Europe like Azerbaijan, Belarus and Russia posted will increase in day by day infections. Within the Americas, case counts fell 36%, with the USA — nonetheless the only most-affected nation — reporting 1.87 million new circumstances, down 50% from the earlier week.

Vaccines gave the impression to be simplest to stop extreme illness from omicron. The company stated booster doses elevated estimates of vaccine effectiveness to over 75% for all vaccines for which knowledge can be found, although the charges declined after three to 6 months after injection.

WHO, bringing collectively leaders like South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in addition to well being ministers, led a pitch on Wednesday for brand new funding for its ACT-Accelerator program to get COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to folks world wide.

“If you wish to guarantee vaccinations for everybody to finish this pandemic, we should first inject equity into the system,” U.N. Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres stated. ”Vaccine inequity is the most important ethical failure of our occasions, and folks and international locations are paying the worth.”

Ramaphosa stated wealthy international locations have administered 14 occasions extra doses of life-saving vaccines and carried out 80 occasions extra assessments than have low-income international locations. In Africa, he stated, simply 8% of individuals are absolutely vaccinated. Whereas many rich international locations roll out third and even fourth booster doses, he famous that many susceptible well being staff and aged folks in Africa “stay unprotected.”

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“The tip of this pandemic is in sight, however provided that we act collectively for fairness, and for solidarity,” he stated.

The attraction comes as many wealthy Western international locations — key donors for WHO — have been easing restrictions to struggle the pandemic after COVID-19 circumstances have begun falling.

“Let’s be trustworthy. It’s not self-evident that that leaders within the North — should you put it that manner, will reply” to assist international efforts to struggle COVID-19, Gahr Støre stated. However he pushed for “advocacy” to point out leaders that “it’s actually of their curiosity to decide on to remain dedicated and be engaged.”

“If we’ve got some sort of sleepwalking out of a shortsighted view in your nationwide omicron problem, across the subsequent nook, chances are you’ll be very badly stunned,” he stated, directing feedback to officers in rich nations.


This story deletes an incorrect reference to new circumstances falling in Germany.


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