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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

WHO: COVID deaths drop 21% last week, but cases continue to rise

GENEVA ( Associated Press) – Globally, the number of coronavirus deaths has fallen by about 21% over the past week, while cases have risen in much of the world, according to the World Health Organization.

In its weekly report on the pandemic released on Thursday, the United Nations health agency said the number of new COVID-19 cases has stabilized after weeks of decline since late March, with nearly 3.5 million new cases last week. , or with an increase of 1%. The WHO said cases rose in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and the western Pacific while falling in Europe and Southeast Asia. Some 9,000 deaths were recorded.

Infections rose by more than 60% in the Middle East and 26% in the Americas, while deaths were reported everywhere except in Africa, where they jumped nearly 50%.

The COVID-19 figures reported to the WHO do not include figures for the recent outbreak announced by North Korea, which has yet to officially share the requested data with the agency.

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On Thursday, the authoritarian country led by Kim Jung Un reported more than 262,000 suspected cases as its caseload reached 2 million, a week after the country acknowledged the outbreak and slowed infections among its unaffiliated population. .

Earlier this week, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “deeply concerned” about the spread of COVID-19 in North Korea, noting that the population had not been vaccinated and the underlying There were a significant number of people with conditions that could put them at risk. More severe illness and death.

Tedros said the agency was working to persuade North Korea to share more information and accept help, including technical assistance, vaccines, tests and medicines, but has yet to receive a response.

In the western Pacific, the WHO said the largest number of reported cases was in China, which saw an increase of 94%, or more than 389,000 new cases. After weeks of sometimes severe and chaotic lockdowns, Chinese officials say they will allow some supermarkets, malls and restaurants in its financial capital of Shanghai to reopen under limited circumstances next week.

WHO’s Tedros has previously described China’s extreme “zero-Covid” approach as “untenable”, but acknowledged that countries are free to choose their own containment strategies.

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