Home/ News / World/  WHO alert on ‘new' Covid variants in coming days amid rise in hospitalisation, deaths. 5 points

New COVID cases have jumped by 15% and deaths by 35% globally in the last few weeks, World Health Organisation (WHO) has alerted and further noted, that more variants with such intense circulation will be seen in the coming days. “Future variants will be more transmissible, may have further immune escape but we do not know if they will be more or less severe."

Sharing some crucial data about the recent circulation, WHO's Maria Van Kerkhove said, millions have died from COVID19 since the start of this pandemic and 15000 are still dying each week. 15000 mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, friends… people we love.

“I know we are tired, but when did this become acceptable?" she questions.

As per data, globally, over the last 4 weeks, 26,722,228 new cases and 62,892 new deaths were reported to WHO. That’s a 15% rise in new cases & a +35% increase in new deaths over the reporting period.

Cases will continue to rise, but hospitalisations, deaths can be minimised

The WHO official pointed out that in the coming day, the cases are likely to continue to rise ‘given the limited use of public health and social measures’. But COVID19 hospitalisations, deaths & Long Covid can be minimised.

Efforts need to be made to strengthen the use of life-saving interventions. We can do this AND live our lives, she said in another tweet.

How risk of COVID deaths and hospitalisation can be reduced:

  • Lives can be saved now with early testing, the right clinical care & treatments and vaccination administered by trained, protected & respected work force. Vaccination amongst those most at risk in all countries is not as high as it should be.
  • Infections and risk of #LongCovid can be reduced with simple measures.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are working incredibly well at preventing severe disease. Get vaccinated and get all recommended doses when it’s your turn.
  • Governments need to focus on reaching at missed risk people.
  • There is no zero risk but we can live our lives while taking simple measures: get vaccinated with all recommended doses; wear a mask while indoors, spend time outdoors,ventilate, test, seek care.

More new variants in the coming days

Currently, Omicron BA5 is the dominant circulating variant but new variants are to emerge in the coming days, the official said cautioning, “reduced surveillance, testing & sequencing globally is making our ability to track known & detect new variants much more difficult."

Speaking of the new variants, she said, There will be more variants with such intense circulation. This virus does not yet have a seasonality or act predictably.

Future variants will be more transmissible, may have further immune escape but we do not know if they will be more or less severe, she cautions

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Updated: 21 Aug 2022, 02:52 PM IST
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