(Geneva) — The number of new coronavirus cases rose by 18% in the last week, with more than 4.1 million cases reported globally, according to the World Health Organization.
In its weekly update on pandemic, the U.N. said that worldwide death tolls remained roughly the same as the previous week at 8,500. The number of COVID-related fatalities rose in three areas: the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Late Wednesday’s report revealed that the Middle East had the highest weekly increase of new COVID-19 infections. They increased their number by 47%. WHO stated that infection rates rose by around 32% in Europe and Southeast Asia while they increased by approximately 14% in America.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, stated that cases are on the rise across 110 countries. This is mainly due to Omicron variants BA.4 or BA.5.
“This pandemic is changing, but it’s not over,” Tedros said this week during a press briefing. He said the ability to track COVID-19’s genetic evolution was “under threat” as countries relaxed surveillance and genetic sequencing efforts, warning that would make it more difficult to catch emerging and potentially dangerous new variants.
Learn More: How many COVID-19 vaccinations should your young child receive? Doctors aren’t sure.
He called upon countries to immunize vulnerable populations including those over 60.
Tedros indicated that although more than 1.2 Billion COVID-19 vaccines were administered worldwide, the immunization rates in low-income countries are only about 13%.
“If rich countries are vaccinating children from as young as 6 months old and planning to do further rounds of vaccination, it is incomprehensible to suggest that lower-income countries should not vaccinate and boost their most at risk (people),” he said.
According to figures compiled by Oxfam and the People’s Vaccine Alliance, fewer than half of the 2.1 billion vaccines promised to poorer countries by the Group of Seven large economies have been delivered.
In the United States, COVID-19 vaccines were approved for babies and children as early as this month. The plan was to target 18 million young children. American regulators suggested that adult boosters be updated in fall with the most recent coronavirus variants.
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