Here’s the latest WHO update on COVID-19

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Highlights

  • Globally, there have been 315,345,967 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and it has claimed 5,510,174 lives till now.
  • Presently, total number of cumulative cases is the highest in the United States of America (62, 126, 362).
  • The rate of hospitalisation during the ‘Beta-dominant’ and ‘Delta dominant’ periods was 18.9% and 13.7%, respectively, whereas, it is only 4.9% for the Omicron variant.

The scourge of COVID-19, which was first identified in China’s Wuhan in late 2019, continues to terrorise the globe, claiming lives and dislocating economies. Several vaccines have been developed for fighting the disease; however, the mutating nature of the virus has been a bottleneck in providing immunity against the disease.

As of 13 January 2022, a total of 315,345,967 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 5,510,174 deaths have been reported globally as per the World Health Organization (WHO). As per data of 10 Jan 2022, the number of vaccine doses administered has reached 9,194,549,698 in total.

Do read: Double whammy? After COVID-19, Flurona fears begin to surface

Region-wise and country-wise update

Last week (3-9 January 2022), the number of global weekly COVID-19 cases surged significantly by 55%. South-East Asia reported the highest number of cases with a massive 418% increment whereas Europe was the last in the list with only 31% increment.

Similarly, the number of new deaths last week was highest in the African Region (84%) followed by the Region of Americas (26%). In contrast, the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the European Region, and the South-East Asia Region reported a decrease in the number of new deaths by 11%, 10%, and 6%, respectively. No change in the number of new deaths was found in the Western Pacific Region.

Country-wise, the highest number of new cases in the last week was reported from the United States of America, followed by France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and India.

Presently, the total number of cumulative cases is the highest in United States of America (62, 126, 362), followed by India (36, 317, 927)

Highlights of country-level actions and support by WHO

  • Providing support to the countries with ‘Variants of Concern’ in the Americas.
  • Six advanced genome sequencing machines have been donated to the Islamic Republic of Iran for monitoring of variants across the nation.
  • Conducting intercountry national mentors’ workshop in order to provide support for developing standard operating procedures for COVID-19.
  • Acceleration of COVID-19 vaccination uptake for people of Nigeria who have been infected by HIV.
  • Bridging treatment barriers with Nepal’s first teleconsultation centre.
  • Conducting global analysis of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence 2020-2021.

Overall, WHO has been supporting progress on a subset of global indicators that illustrate how the advancement towards ending the acute phase of the pandemic has been achieved.

Also read: Omicron tightens its noose: Wednesday marked as second deadliest pandemic day

What’s up with Omicron? Here’s the latest update

The Omicron variant has been dominantly replacing other variants of the SARS-COV-2 virus. It has been reported to have a shorter doubling time as compared to other previous variants and possess higher transmissibility. However, in terms of disease severity, this variant is less severe than other variants and the rate of hospitalisation is lower compared to other variants. The rate of hospital admission during the ‘Beta-dominant’ and ‘Delta dominant’ periods was 18.9 and 13.7%, respectively, whereas, it is only 4.9% with Omicron.

Along with Omicron, cases of flurona have also been detected in some countries. The ever-mutating COVID virus has also emerged as the IHU variant in France. Research and studies are underway by many countries on the genome of the virus for the purpose of drug discovery.

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