March 17, 2022 — After a number of weeks of declines in new reported instances of COVID-19, the numbers are growing globally as soon as once more, notably in elements of Asia and Western Europe, the World Well being Group says.
“These will increase are occurring regardless of reductions in testing in some international locations, which suggests the instances we’re seeing are simply the tip of the iceberg,” WHO Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, mentioned at a information briefing Wednesday.
Because of this, native outbreaks and surges in COVID-19 instances are probably, “notably in areas the place measures to stop transmission have been lifted,” he mentioned.
And loss of life charges stay excessive in many countries, notably these with low ranges of vaccination.
“Every nation is dealing with a unique scenario with totally different challenges, however the pandemic is just not over,” Tedros mentioned.
“I repeat, the pandemic is just not over.”
His assertion comes amid a reported 46% improve in COVID-19 instances within the U.Okay. and a soar in case numbers in China. Across the globe, weekly COVID-19 instances are up 8%, the WHO introduced, regardless of a major discount in testing for COVID-19.
Given these experiences, “we must be very cautious. We have to watch this very rigorously, and we have to deal with getting essentially the most weak appropriately vaccinated,” mentioned Michael Ryan, MD, government director of the WHO Well being Emergencies Program.
Pockets of Pandemic Doable
“This virus remains to be shifting round fairly simply. Within the context of waning immunity and the truth that vaccines do not work completely, the chances are high that this virus will echo around the globe,” Ryan mentioned.
The coronavirus can persist for a very long time, even in small communities, ready for its subsequent alternative to unfold.
“It would survive in these pockets for months and months till one other pocket of susceptibility opens up,” Ryan mentioned.
The COVID-19 Image in Ukraine
Even because the battle in Ukraine enters its fourth week, the COVID-19 surveillance and reporting system stays largely intact, mentioned Adelheid Marschang, MD, the senior emergency officer for the WHO Well being Emergencies Program.
“We see on the similar time that the testing has decreased,” she mentioned.
“Nonetheless, we have now captured now, I feel, one thing like greater than 30,000 new instances.”
Recognizing Pandemic Fatigue
The issues driving the worldwide will increase in case detection “are the identical components which were driving transmission of this virus for the reason that starting of the pandemic,” mentioned Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD.
“We utterly perceive that the world wants to maneuver on from COVID-19. However this virus spreads very effectively between individuals,” mentioned Van Kerkhove, technical lead for COVID-19 response on the WHO and a Well being Emergencies Program professional.
“If we do not have the precise interventions in place, the virus will take alternatives to proceed to unfold. And the extra the virus spreads, the extra alternatives it has to vary.”