COVID-19 Pandemic Continues to Evolve, Warns WHO Chief as Omicron Sub-Variants Drive Rising Cases
Omicron Sub-Variants BA.4 and BA.5 Responsible for Half of US Coronavirus Cases
The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, with rising cases reported in 110 countries. The surge is primarily driven by the fast-spreading Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that these sub-variants together constitute approximately 50% of the coronavirus cases in the United States. BA.5 accounted for 36.6% of cases, while BA.4 represented 15.7%, making up a significant proportion of new infections in the country.
Global Cases Increasing by 20%, WHO Director General Expresses Concern
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted that the pandemic is changing, but it is far from over. He expressed concerns about the rising number of cases worldwide, stating that they have increased by 20% in 110 countries. Furthermore, he noted that deaths have risen in three out of the six WHO regions. Ghebreyesus emphasized that the ability to track the virus is under threat due to declining reporting and genomic sequences, making it challenging to monitor the Omicron variant and analyze emerging variants in the future.
Vaccination Inequity and Emerging Variants Remain Key Challenges
Ghebreyesus expressed concern over the slow pace of vaccination in lower-income countries, leaving vulnerable populations at risk of future waves of the virus. Despite the distribution of more than 12 billion vaccines globally in the past 18 months, millions of people, including health workers and older individuals in lower-income countries, remain unvaccinated. The WHO chief acknowledged the barriers to access vaccines faced last year, including vaccine hoarding by wealthier nations. However, he highlighted that political commitment and challenges related to disinformation are currently impeding vaccine rollouts in 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and remains a significant global health concern, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He issued a warning that the pandemic is far from over, as cases are on the rise in 110 countries, with two fast-spreading sub-variants of the Omicron variant, BA.4 and BA.5, being the primary drivers of the increasing infection rates.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that the combined BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants make up approximately 50% of the country’s COVID-19 cases. BA.5 accounted for 36.6% of the total cases, while BA.4 represented 15.7%, emphasizing the significant impact of these sub-variants on the spread of the virus.