GENEVA ( Associated Press) – The number of globally reported coronavirus cases declined for the second week in a row and confirmed COVID-19 cases last week, according to a World Health Organization report released on Wednesday. had died.
In its latest pandemic report, the WHO said 9 million cases were recorded, a 16% weekly decline and more than 26,000 new deaths from COVID-19. The United Nations health agency said that confirmed coronavirus infections are low in all regions of the world.
However, it warned that there is considerable uncertainty in the reported numbers as many countries have stopped widespread testing for the coronavirus, meaning many cases are not being detected.
The WHO said it was also tracking an Omicron variant that is a recombination of two versions: ba.1 and ba.2, which were first discovered in the UK in January. The WHO said that early estimates suggest that the recombinant omicron may be about 10% more transmissible than previous mutations, but further evidence is needed.
The agency continues to warn countries not to abandon their COVID-19 protocols too early and predicts future versions could easily spread if surveillance and testing systems are suspended.
Last week, the UK said COVID-19 had hit record levels across the country, with government figures estimating that around 1 in 13 people were infected. Those figures came on the same day the British government abandoned its free testing programme.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities this week conducted more mass testing in Shanghai, which remains in lockdown after another surge in infections; The city has recorded more than 90,000 cases but no deaths during the pandemic.
Despite growing public frustration and concerns about the economic impact, China says it stands by its rigid “zero-tolerance” approach mandating lockdowns, mass testing and mandatory isolation of all suspected cases and close contacts. Following a public outcry, Shanghai authorities said on Wednesday they would allow at least some parents to live with children infected with COVID-19 to isolate anyone who tested positive. exceptions to the policy.
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