COVID-19 cases rise as new deaths fall; over 11 million infections reported last week, says WHO

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Representational image (Photo via Pixabay)

Geneva: More than two years into the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization today said that the number of new deaths reported worldwide had fallen by 17% in the last week, even as cases rose. The recent trend marks a reversal in the decline of cases that had begun in January this year.

As per the weekly report released by the UN health agency, more than 11 million new COVID-19 infections and 43,000 new deaths were reported last week. This incidentally is an 8% rise in cases. The number of COVID-19 deaths globally has been dropping for the past three weeks.

While the Western Pacific, African and European regions reported an increase in new weekly cases (29%, 12% and 2% respectively), as compared to the previous week, a a decrease was reported by the Eastern Mediterranean, Region, the South-East Asia Region and the Region of the Americas.

According to the WHO, the numbers should be interpreted with caution, as many countries exit the acute phase of the pandemic and correspondingly change their COVID-19 testing strategies. Several nations have also done away with COVID-19 induces restrictions and announced their intention to drop widespread testing. The more infectious BA.2 omicron subvariant has also led to a spike in cases in some countries.

In China, the Omicron subvariant has prompted the highest coronavirus outbreak in the last two years, with over 1,400 new coronavirus cases per day. As local authorities struggle to deal with the deteriorating situation, China has put millions under lockdown and even announced monetary awards, up to 10,000 Yuan, for reporting violations of coronavirus rules.

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