The number of Covid-19 cases worldwide has increased by 30% in just two weeks, and in Europe, in particular, the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the omicron are responsible for this new wave of infections, he said on Wednesday. the World Health Organization (WHO).
In India, where Covid-19 has caused more than half a million deaths, a new subvariant, called BA.2.75, has been detected and is being closely monitored by experts.
However, everything indicates that the death rate “disconnected” from the number of cases, which, although it has skyrocketed, has not led to a significant increase in hospitalizations or deaths in intensive care.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this situation clearly highlights problems the organization has been warning of for months, such as the sharp drop in diagnostic tests in many countries.
“This obscures the true evolution of the virus and the true burden of Covid-19 cases in the world,” he said.
Another more noticeable problem is that treatments on the market are not being administered early enough to prevent severe cases and deaths.
This is particularly noticeable in poor countries, “where new treatments, especially new oral antivirals, are not coming,” Tedros said.
The WHO believes that the new wave of covid that is starting to emerge has its origin in people’s perception that the virus will become endemic and in the total relaxation of prevention measures with the arrival of summer in the northern hemisphere.
“But this is not the time to declare the end of the pandemic,” said WHO expert Abdi Maha, for whom Covid can still do a lot of damage.
He called for the most at-risk groups to be protected with easy measures, such as wearing masks in closed spaces and in places where there are many people together.
“We are not telling anyone to go back to the ‘lockdown’, to confinement. We have had two and a half difficult years, people want to return to normal life, but we are asking countries to protect the most vulnerable”, emphasized the WHO’s director of emergencies. , Mike Ryan.