Coronavirus Update: WHO says 90% decline in COVID deaths since Feb. is ’cause for optimism,’ while urging vigilance against new variants

by | Nov 10, 2022 | Stock Market

The head of the World Health Organization said a close to 90% decline in COVID deaths globally compared to nine months ago is “cause for optimism,” but urged leaders to remain vigilant as new variants continue to emerge. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Wednesday that there were just 9,400 COVID deaths last week, compared with more than 75,000 in February, the Associated Press reported. 

“Almost 10,000 deaths a week is 10,000 too many for a disease that can be prevented and treated,” he said. Testing and sequencing rates remain low globally, vaccination gaps between rich and poor countries are still wide, and new variants continue to proliferate. In its weekly epidemiological update, the agency said the global tally of cases fell 15% in the week through Nov. 6 from the previous week with over 2.1 million new cases counted. The highest number of new cases was reported from Japan, at 401,693, followed by Korea at 299,440 and the U.S. at 266,104. The agency again cautioned that the numbers may be undercounted, given the changes in testing strategies and overall surveillance in many countries, including the U.S. As for new variants, the update found BA.5, an omicron subvariant, remained dominant globally, accounting for 74.5% of sequences submitted to a central database. But newer ones, including BQ.1 and XBB, are on the rise. BQ.1 sequences rose to 13.4% of the total from 9.4% a week ago. XBB …

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