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World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday sounded a COVID warning stating that virus transmission and hospitalisation risks are likely to rise again in the coming months. As colder weather approaches people would be spending more time indoors and with that intense transmission and hospitalization will also increase.

In the past week, 15,000 people around the world lost their lives to COVID-19. And in just 4 weeks, the COVID-related fatalities increased by 35%. “We cannot live with 15,000 deaths a week. We cannot live with mounting hospitalizations and deaths. We cannot live with inequitable access to vaccines and other tools," WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said

“This is completely unacceptable when we have all the tools to prevent infections and save lives."

The WHO chief on Thursday was speaking at a weekly press briefing on COVID, monkeypox and other issues.

How COVID risk can be averted at this stage?

Pointing out how such risks can be averted, the WHO chief said, “Today none of us are helpless, get vaccinated if you are not, and if you need a booster, get one. Wear a mask when you can’t distance, and try to avoid crowds, especially indoors."

WHO chief said that even though ‘learning to live with COVID is important’, but that does not mean we pretend it’s not there. “It means we use the tools we have to protect ourselves, and protect others"

Why is it becoming to difficult understand how the virus might be changing?

Tedros said that currently, Omicron remains the dominant variant, with the BA.5 sub-variant representing more than 90% of sequences shared in the last month. “We’re all tired of this virus, and tired of the pandemic. But the virus is not tired of us."

He further raised the fact the testing and sequencing process has sharply dropped owing to which it is difficult to perceive how the virus is changing. “The number of sequences shared per week has fallen by 90% since the beginning of this year, and the number of countries sharing sequences has dropped by 75%, making it so much harder to understand how the virus might be changing," Tedros noted.

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