File photo: Commuters walk through snow during the COVID-19 pandemic in central Seoul, South Korea on January 17, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

LONDON: Globally reported cases of the novel coronavirus fell by nearly a quarter last week, while deaths fell by 6%, according to the World Health Organization’s pandemic report on Thursday. Some were still high.

The United Nations health agency said there were 5.4 million new COVID-19 cases reported last week, down 24% from the previous week. In Africa and Europe it fell by nearly 40% and in the Middle East by a third.

COVID deaths increased by 31% and 12% in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia, respectively, but declined or remained stable elsewhere.

At a press conference on Wednesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of reported coronavirus deaths in the past month had jumped 35%, with 15,000 deaths in the past week. I was.

“It is totally unacceptable that 15,000 people die in a week when we have all the tools to prevent infection and save lives,” said Tedros. He said the numbers had plummeted by 90%, making it very difficult for scientists to monitor how COVID-19 could be mutating.

“But none of us are powerless. If not, get vaccinated. If you want a booster, get one.”

On Thursday, the WHO’s Vaccine Advisory Group recommended for the first time that those most vulnerable to COVID-19, including the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions and health care workers, receive a second booster shot. health agencies and countries made the same recommendations a few months ago.

The expert group also said it had evaluated data from vaccines from Pfizer, Biontech and Moderna for younger age groups, and children and teenagers are the least likely to be vaccinated because they are far less likely to develop severe disease. He said he belonged to the group.

Joachim Hombach, a member of the WHO’s vaccine expert group, said it was also unclear whether the experts would support a broader booster for the general population or a new combination vaccine targeting the Omicron variant. Stated.

“We need to see what the data tell us, and we need to see (what) the benefits of these vaccines, including the (Omicron) strain, actually do,” he said. .

Dr Alejandro Cravioto, chairman of the expert group, said unless a vaccine was proven to stop transmission, its widespread use would be “a waste of vaccines and a waste of time.”

Earlier this week, UK authorities approved an updated version of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, which targets Omcron, and the UK government announced it would be making it available to people over the age of 50 from next month.

Source link

Previous articleAfter Shamrock Rovers’ crushing defeat in Budapest, Stephen Bradley admits Ferencvaros is ‘better than anyone I’ve played in Europe’
Next articleTurkey surprises markets by cutting interest rates despite inflation soaring