Jan 11, 2022, 11:17 AM
The world is going through a challenging period since the 2019 outbreak in the novel virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
In its latest weekly report on the pandemic, the U.N. health agency said the number of new coronavirus cases fell everywhere, including in WHO’s Western Pacific region, where they had been rising since December.
About 10 million new COVID-19 infections and more than 45,000 deaths were reported worldwide over the past week, following a 23% drop in fatalities the week before.
The jump in reported deaths, up from 33,000 last week, was due mainly to an accounting change; WHO noted that countries including Chile and the United States altered how they define COVID-19 deaths.
In addition, more than 4,000 deaths from Maharashtra state in India that initially weren’t included among the COVID-19 death toll were added last week, according to WHO.
WHO has said repeatedly that COVID-19 case counts are likely a vast underestimate of the coronavirus’ prevalence. The agency cautioned countries in recent weeks against dropping their comprehensive testing and other surveillance measures, saying that doing so would cripple efforts to accurately track the spread of the virus.
“Data are becoming progressively less representative, less timely and less robust. This inhibits our collective ability to track where the virus is, how it is spreading and how it is evolving: information and analyses that remain critical to effectively end the acute phase of the pandemic.”
The agency warned that less surveillance would particularly harm efforts to detect new COVID variants and undermine a potential response.
Numerous countries across Europe, North America and elsewhere recently lifted nearly all their COVID-19 protocols, relying on high levels of vaccination to prevent another infection spike even as the more infectious omicron subvariant BA.2 is causing an uptick in new cases.
British authorities have said that while they expect to see more cases, they have not seen an equivalent rise in hospitalizations and deaths.
Despite the global decline in reported cases, China locked down Shanghai this week to try to curb an omicron outbreak that has caused the country’s biggest wave of disease since the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019.
U.S. officials expanded the use of vaccine boosters Tuesday as regulators said Americans ages 50 and older can get a second booster at least four months after their last vaccination.
An AP-NORC poll, meanwhile found that less than half of Americans now regularly wear face masks, avoid crowds and skip non-essential travel.
Mr. President-elect, congratulations for the past presidential election which you won with a landslide victory as testified by the international community observers from ECOWAS, AU, Commonwealth, EU and US, and the local observers to name few.
Counting the costs of COVID-19 far transcends head-count of fatalities. As a matter of fact, fatalities, if it will be rightly counted, should include, not only the numerical value of human lives lost; but also, losses in economic, industrial, vocational, educational aspects, among others.
While the global food system is a key contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, some agriculture experts contend that the solutions to climate change can be found through revolutionizing the way we farm.