Home / News / World /  Almost 40,000 COVID deaths globally last week, more than half from China: WHO

World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday notified that in the past week, almost 40,000 deaths were reported, more than half were reported from China alone. 

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus notified, in total, over the past 8 weeks, over 170 thousand deaths have been recorded, actual numbers are higher. "I remain very concerned by the situation in many countries and the rising number of deaths," he told a press conference on Tuesday.

WHO's emergency committee on Covid-19 met on Friday to discuss whether the pandemic still merits the highest level of global alert. The panel's 14th meeting on the crisis comes nearly three years to the day since it first sounded the WHO's highest emergency alarm, as what was then called the novel coronavirus began to spread outside China.

"While we are clearly in better shape than three years ago when this pandemic first hit, the global collective response is once again under strain," Tedros said Tuesday.

He said too few people are adequately vaccinated, while for many people suffering from Covid-19, antivirals are out of reach.

Health systems are still struggling to cope with the additional Covid burden.

In terms of monitoring how the virus is evolving, surveillance and genetic sequencing has dropped sharply, making it harder to track the myriad variants and detect new ones in good time.

Tedros said the virus "will continue to kill, unless we do more to get health tools to people that need them".

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