GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) said that in the past six weeks, the global weekly number of reported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has almost doubled and warned that deaths are also increasing but for the moment, not as rapidly as cases.
"However, more cases means we can expect to see more hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks. There are many sub lineages of the Omicron variant, most notably BA.5, which is the most transmissible variant detected yet," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in his opening remarks at the Covid-19 media briefing on July 20.
"We have said consistently that this virus will continue to evolve, and we must be ready for whatever it throws at us. That could be a new version of the variants we already know, or something completely new,” he said. "So all countries must be ready. Countries that have dismantled some parts of their pandemic response systems are taking a huge risk."
Tedros called on countries to address those gaps in surveillance, immunity, workforce, supplies, and resilience.
"We will see continued waves of infection, but we need not see continued waves of hospitalization and death. We have the tools to save lives –vaccines, tests, therapeutics and public health tools." (WAM)