As virus spreads ‘freely’ COVID-19 ‘nowhere near over’: Tedros

An uptick in COVID-19 cases in New York prompts people on a busy street to don protective masks (Photo via UN)

(United Nations News) Rising COVID-19 cases are not only putting further pressure on already stretched health systems and workers but also triggering an “increasing trend of deaths”, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists at the regular weekly press briefing on Tuesday.

He reported that the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 last Friday concluded that “the virus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern”.

And while acknowledging that we are in a much better position than at the beginning of the pandemic, he reminded that new waves demonstrate the COVID-19 pandemic “is nowhere near over”.  

Tedros outlined interlinked challenges presented now by the virus, beginning with sub-variants of Omicron, like BA.4 and BA.5, which continue to drive waves of cases, hospitalisations and deaths globally.

He observed that reduced surveillance, including testing and sequencing, has made it increasingly difficult to assess the impact of variants on transmission, disease characteristics, and the effectiveness of measures to counter the disease. 

Tedros also pointed to diagnostics, treatments and vaccines that are not being deployed effectively.

Read more at: United Nations News

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