Figures showing the global rise in COVID-19 cases may herald a much bigger problem, as some countries have also reported a drop in test rates, the WHO said on Tuesday, warning nations to be vigilant against the virus.
After more than a month of decline, COVID cases began to grow around the world last week, the WHO said, with struggles to have an outbreak of blockades in Asia and China’s Jilin province.
The combination was caused by a combination of factors, including the highly transmissible Omicron variant and its BA.2 subline, and the elimination of public health and social measures, the WHO said.
“These increases are taking place despite reduced testing in some countries, which means that the cases we are seeing are just the tip of the iceberg,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.
The rise in vaccination rates in some countries, driven in part by “a great deal of inadequate information”, has also been highlighted by WHO officials.
New infections rose 8% worldwide compared to the previous week, with 11 million new cases and more than 43,000 new deaths between March 7 and 13. This is the first climb since the end of January.
The biggest jump was in the WHO’s Western Pacific region, which includes South Korea and China, where cases rose by 25% and deaths by 27%.
There was also a 12% increase in new cases in Africa and a 14% increase in deaths, and a 2% increase in cases in Europe, but no increase in deaths. Other regions reported a decrease in cases, including the eastern Mediterranean, although this area saw a 38% increase in deaths due to a previous rise in infections.
Many experts have expressed concern that Europe is facing another wave of coronaviruses, with cases rising in early March in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
WHO’s Van Van Kerkhov said in her speech that BA.2 seems to be the most transmissible variant to date.
However, there are no signs of a more serious disease, and there are no other new variants that are driving the rise in cases.
European photography is also not universal. Denmark, for example, had a brief peak in cases in the first half of February, driven by BA.2, and quickly calmed down.
But experts have warned that the United States will soon see a wave similar to that seen in Europe, driven by BA.2, to curb restrictions and reduce immunity to vaccines given a few months ago.
“I agree with easing the restrictions because you can’t think of it as an emergency in two years,” said Antonella Viola, a professor of immunology at the University of Padua in Italy.
“All we have to do is think that Covid is no longer there. And so keep the necessary precautions, which are basically the constant monitoring and follow-up of cases, and the obligation to wear a mask in closed or very crowded places.” “
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically created from a union feed.)