Covid-19 pandemic not over yet: WHO

by IANS |

Geneva, April 27 (IANS) Even though the number of globally reported Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to decline, largely due to a drop in testing rates, the pandemic is not over, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned in Geneva.

Last week, just more than 15,000 coronavirus-related deaths were reported to the WHO, the lowest weekly total since March 2020, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing on Tuesday.

However, the encouraging trend should be interpreted with caution, as many countries have scaled back on testing, and as a result "the WHO is receiving less and less information about transmission and sequencing," he said.

"This makes us increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and evolution. But this virus won't go away just because countries stop looking for it. It's still spreading, it's still changing and it's still killing," Tedros added.

"When it comes to a deadly virus, ignorance is not bliss. The WHO continues to call on all countries to maintain surveillance," he said.

Responding to the European Union's recent decision to enter a new post-emergency phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, cautioned that this is not the time to lose focus on the virus nor on its potential to continue to evolve.

"The fact is that we're not out of this yet," he said.

Maria van Kerkhove, Technical Lead for the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, said despite the recent positive trends, she had "little confidence in the number of cases being reported around the world" due to the massive changes in testing strategies and the huge reduction in the number of tests being performed around the world, Xinhua news agency reported.

"On the positive side, we do see a change. We are in a different phase of this pandemic, certainly, but we are still very much in the middle of this pandemic, and this is still a global problem," she said.

"Now is not the time to retreat. Now is the time to really strengthen what we have put in place and ensure that we keep people alive, and we get our economies back on track and we save people's livelihoods," she noted.

Latest News
Mexican FM becomes honorary Seoul citizen Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 01:02 PM
Kerala Assembly adjourned for day in flat 8 minutes Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:52 PM
Arch-rivals Pakistan gain huge advantage after India's 7-wicket loss to England Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:47 PM
31st mega anti-Covid vaccine camp in TN to target 1.45 cr people Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:46 PM
At least 4 washed away in Himachal cloudburst Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:44 PM
England's win one of the hosts' best-ever run chases in history of Test cricket: ICC Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:41 PM
India's daily Covid tally rises to 16,159 Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:38 PM
A dubious Test record which will haunt India for years to come Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:35 PM
V-P, PM remember Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee on his birth anniversary Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:34 PM
UK signs first global data transfer deal with S.Korea Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:33 PM
Global charity provides $28.5 mn to 19 countries hit by drought Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:25 PM
TikTok to restrict livestreams to viewers who are 18 years and above Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:20 PM
S.Korean Prez's disapproval rating again exceeds approval rating Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:20 PM
Aadhaar compulsory for getting compensation in human-elephant conflict cases Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:18 PM
BharatPe back on track after Ashneer controversy, records 112% growth Wed, Jul 06, 2022, 12:15 PM