GENEVA ( Associated Press) – The death toll from the coronavirus rose by more than 40% last week, possibly due to a change in reports of COVID-19 deaths across the US and new adjusted data from India, according to One World Health because of. The organization’s report released on Wednesday
In its latest weekly report on the pandemic, the UN health agency said the number of new coronavirus cases fell everywhere, including the WHO’s western Pacific, where they had been rising since December.
Nearly 10 million new COVID-19 infections and more than 45,000 deaths were reported worldwide in the past week, after a 23% drop in fatalities from a week earlier.
The jump in reported deaths, up from 33,000 last week, was primarily due to an accounting change; The WHO noted that countries including Chile and the United States changed how they define COVID-19 deaths.
In addition, over 4,000 deaths in India from the state of Maharashtra, which were not initially included in the number of COVID-19 deaths, were added last week, according to the WHO.
The WHO has repeatedly said that the number of COVID-19 cases could possibly be an underestimate of the prevalence of the coronavirus. The agency has in recent weeks cautioned countries against abandoning their widespread testing and other surveillance measures, saying doing so would cripple efforts to accurately track the spread of the virus.
“The data is becoming increasingly less representative, less timely and less robust,” the WHO said. “This hinders our collective ability to track where the virus is, how it is spreading and how it is evolving: the information and analysis that are critical to effectively ending the acute phase of the pandemic. “
The agency warned that low surveillance would particularly harm efforts to detect new COVID variants and undermine the potential response.
Several countries in Europe, North America and elsewhere recently lifted almost all of their COVID-19 protocols, relying on high levels of vaccination to prevent another infection spike, even more The infectious omicron subvariant BA.2 is causing the increase in new cases.
British officials have said that while they expect to see more cases, they have not seen a similar increase in hospitalizations and deaths.
Despite a global drop in reported cases, China this week closed Shanghai to try to curb an Omicron outbreak that has caused the country’s biggest wave of illness since the virus was first detected in 2019. was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
US officials on Tuesday expanded the use of vaccine boosters as regulators said Americans age 50 and older could get a second booster at least four months after their last vaccination.
An Associated Press-NORC survey, meanwhile, found that less than half of Americans now regularly wear face masks, avoid crowds and skip non-essential travel.
Follow Associated Press’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic
The Associated Press