WHO: COVID-19 cases mostly drop, except for the Americas

The number of new coronavirus cases and deaths is still declining globally after peaking in January, the World Health Organization said.

In its latest weekly assessment of the epidemic, the United Nations health agency said there were more than 3.7 million new infections and 9,000 deaths in the past week, down 3% and 11%, respectively.

Cases of COVID-19 have risen in only two regions of the world: the Americas and the Western Pacific. Deaths increased 30% in the Middle East, but were stable or decreased elsewhere, according to the Associated Press. The World Health Organization said it tracks all of the Omicron sub-variables as “variables of concern”. He noted that countries that had a large wave of disease caused by the omicron subvariant BA.2 appeared to be less affected by other subvariants such as BA.4 and BA.5, which were responsible for the most recent wave of disease in South Africa.

Salim Abdulkarim, an infectious disease expert at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said South Africa appears to have passed the latest wave of COVID-19 due to BA.4 and BA.5 alternatives; The country has been at the forefront of the pandemic since the omicron variant was discovered last November.

Karim predicted that another mutant version of Omicron could emerge in June, explaining that the high number of mutations in the variant means there are more opportunities for evolution.

Meanwhile, authorities in the Chinese capital, Beijing, ordered more workers and students to stay home and carried out additional mass testing on Monday as COVID-19 cases continued to rise.

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Many apartment complexes in the city have restricted entry and exit, although the lockdown conditions are still much less dangerous than in Shanghai, where millions of citizens have been under varying degrees of lockdown for two months.

China vows to stick to its “zero COVID” policy despite the fact that the World Health Organization describes the policy as “unsustainable”, given the infectious nature of Omicron and its sub-variables.


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