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Even though COVID has been declining globally, World Health Organisation (WHO) asserted that with winter approaching for Southern Hemisphere, chances of another coronavirus wave are high. The UN health agency also pointed out that with the virus still circulating, the risk of more deadly variants emerging still remains. 

WHO warned that with winter approaching for Southern Hemisphere countries, “there is a high risk of another wave of new COVID infections." The coronavirus spreads more easily in cooler temperatures when people are more likely to gather in larger numbers indoors.

“With the virus still circulating, the risk of new and potentially more deadly variants emerging remains, and the pandemic control measures are pivotal to effective response to a surge in infections," said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's Africa director.

The US might see another COVID wave soon

Detailing the current COVID-19 scenario globally, World Health Organization (WHO) notified Covid cases and deaths in Africa have dropped to their lowest levels since the pandemic began. WHO on Thursday in its report said, COVID-19 infections due to the omicron surge had “tanked" from a peak of more than 308,000 weekly cases to fewer than 20,000 last week. Cases and deaths fell by 29% and 37% respectively in the last week; deaths decreased to 239 from the previous week.

“This low level of infection has not been seen since April 2020 in the early stages of the pandemic in Africa," WHO said, noting that no country in the region is currently seeing an increase of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, scientists in the U.S. warn the country may be about to see a wave of cases fueled by the omicron subvariant BA.2, which has already peaked across Europe. The country expects to soon mark the deaths of at least 1 million Americans killed by COVID.

Two new Omicron variants detected

Earlier this week, South African experts detected 2 new subvariants of Omicron- BA.4 and BA.5.  

To date, the new versions of omicron have been detected in four people in Botswana and 23 people in South Africa. Beyond Africa, scientists have confirmed cases in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. WHO said there was so far no evidence the new sub-variants spread any differently than the original omicron variant.

In an analysis released last week, WHO estimated that up to 65% of people in Africa have been infected with the coronavirus and said unlike many other regions, most people infected on the continent didn't show any symptoms.

 

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