Globally, there has been a significant increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 reported over the past six weeks, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There have also been an increase in deaths, but they have not been increasing at the same pace as the number of cases at the moment, notes the WHO.
In his opening remarks at the COVID-19 media briefing, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, stated: “Incoming cases will lead to more hospitalizations and deaths in the weeks ahead. There are many sublineages of the Omicron variant, notably BA.5, which is the most transmissible variant detected to date.”
“As we have stated consistently, this virus will continue to evolve, and no matter what it throws at us, whether it is a new variant of one we already know or something completely different, we must be prepared. So all countries must be ready. Countries that have dismantled some parts of their pandemic response systems are taking a huge risk.”
Dr. Tedros urged countries to address gaps in surveillance, immunity, workforce, supplies, and resilience. The waves of infection will continue, but we don’t have to see the waves of deaths and hospitalizations. We are equipped with vaccines, tests, therapeutics, and public health tools that can save lives.