Even though COVID infection and mortality rates continue to decline, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the prospect of the introduction of deadlier and more infectious coronavirus variants exists and has advised everyone to exercise care.
“Subvariants of Omicron are more transmissible than their predecessors, & the risk of even more transmissible & more dangerous variants remains,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during the weekly media briefing regarding COVID on Wednesday.
He further alerted that the cases are likely to rise again in the coming months. “We are now seeing a welcome decline in reported COVID deaths globally. However, with colder weather approaching in the northern hemisphere, it’s reasonable to expect an increase in hospitalizations and deaths in the coming months.”
WHO had earlier pointed out that in the coming years, we would have to live with COVID. And explaining what it is, he said, “Living with COVID19 doesn’t mean pretending the pandemic is over. If you go walking in the rain without an umbrella, pretending it’s not raining won’t help you. You’ll still get wet. Likewise, pretending a deadly virus is not circulating is a huge risk.”
“Living with COVID19 means taking the simple precautions to avoid getting infected, or if you’re infected, from getting seriously sick/dying. I’m asking all governments to update their policies to make best use of the life-saving tools to manage COVID-19 responsibly,” the WHO chief pointed out.
Regarding COVID vaccination, Tedros said, the rates, even in rich countries, were still too low, noting that 30% of health workers and 20% of older people remain unimmunized.
Covid vaccination necessary
“These vaccination gaps pose a risk to all of us,” he said. “Please get vaccinated if you are not and a booster if it’s recommended that you have one.”
According to WHO, 4.5 million new COVID-19 cases were recorded last week, a 16% decrease from the previous week. Deaths were also down 13%, with around 13,500 people dying. COVID-19 infections fell everywhere in the world, while mortality fell everywhere except in Southeast Asia, where they increased by 15%, and the Western Pacific, where they increased by 3%.