WHO: COVID-19 cases rose by more than 50%, deaths stable

The World Health Organization says the variety of new coronavirus infections within the final week globally jumped by about 55% though the variety of deaths remained stable

GENEVA — The variety of new coronavirus infections within the final week jumped by about 55%, though the variety of deaths remained stable, the World Health Organization mentioned in its latest pandemic report.

Last week, WHO famous a pandemic file excessive of 9.5 million new infections in a single week, calling it a “tsunami” of illness.

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WHO mentioned the extraordinarily contagious omicron variant continues to outline the pandemic globally and is now crowding out the beforehand dominant delta variant. It mentioned omicron, which was first detected in southern Africa in late November, accounts for almost 59% of all sequences shared with the biggest publicly obtainable international database of viruses. WHO mentioned omicron had now confirmed to have a shorter doubling time, with growing proof it was capable of “evade immunity.” It additionally famous there have been quite a few research that it’s much less extreme in comparison with earlier variants.

After a steep rise in omicron cases in South Africa after the variant was first detected, the epidemic shortly dropped and consultants consider the wave has now handed. WHO mentioned this week that after a steady rise of COVID-19 throughout Africa, cases fell this week for the primary time.

Scientists in Britain and the U.S. say there are early indicators the crush of omicron could have peaked, however they’re nonetheless unsure how the subsequent section of the pandemic would possibly unfold. WHO famous the Americas reported the highest-ever variety of COVID-19 cases this week, with a 78% spike, primarily pushed by the U.S.

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The variety of new cases in Europe rose by 31%, whereas there was a ten% drop in deaths.

The greatest bounce in COVID-19 infections was famous in Southeast Asia, the place cases elevated by more than 400%, with the biggest numbers reported in India, Timor-Leste, Thailand and Bangladesh. The numbers of deaths within the area fell by 6%.

The omicron variant spreads even more simply than different coronavirus strains, and has already turn out to be dominant in lots of nations. It additionally more simply infects those that have been vaccinated or had beforehand been contaminated by prior variations of the virus. However, early research present omicron is much less prone to trigger extreme sickness than the earlier delta variant, and vaccination and a booster nonetheless provide sturdy safety from critical sickness, hospitalization and loss of life.

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Follow AP’s pandemic protection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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