COVID-19 roundup: Global cases on decline, latest recommendations by WHO

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COVID-19 roundup: Global cases on decline, latest recommendations by WHO

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COVID-19 updates around the world
Image source: © Syahrell | Megapixl.com 

Highlights

  • Global COVID-19 cases are falling since mid-March
  • China’s capital city Beijing began three rounds of COVID-19 testing for all residents of its largest district, Chaoyang, on Monday
  • WHO has suggested Pfizer's oral antiviral drug (a combination of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir tablets) for high-risk patients

Globally, there has been a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases since mid of March this year. Last week, global COVID-19 cases dropped by 21.33%. As of 25 April 2022, the global COVID-19 caseload stood at 507,501,771, having claimed 6,220,390 lives. So far, 11.32 billion vaccine doses have been administered.  

In the last 24 hours, France reported the highest number of confirmed cases (58,954), followed by Italy (56,848) and Japan (38,450). According to total cumulative cases, the USA tops the list (80.17 million), followed by India (43.06 million) and Brazil (30.34 million).  

As of 25 April 2022, Australia recorded 361,716 active cases of the COVID-19 virus, with a total tally of 5,512,954 confirmed cases.  

China enrolls mass testing

After China reported 34.35% weekly increment in COVID-19 cases, Beijing began three rounds of Covid-19 testing for all residents of its largest district, Chaoyang, on Monday. Authorities in Chaoyang have ordered residents and workers to undergo testing this week after Beijing warned that the virus had spread "silently" throughout the city for almost a week before being discovered. 

What does WHO suggest on COVID-19 medications?

Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) made a significant recommendation regarding COVID-19 therapeutics. It has suggested nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, available in the market as Paxlovid, as the best therapeutic choice for non-severe COVID-19 patients with the highest risk of hospital admission. This may include unvaccinated, older, and immunosuppressed patients. 

WHO has recommended Pfizer's oral antiviral drug (a combination of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir tablets) for high-risk patients on the basis of fresh data obtained after two randomized controlled trials on a total of 3078 patients who had mild or moderate COVID-19 infection.  

The WHO is worried that low- and middle-income countries will again be the last in the queue to secure this treatment, as in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine. In this regard, here are the major obstacles:

Therefore, the WHO states that Pfizer should make its pricing and negotiations more transparent and expand the geographic scope of its licence with the Medicines Patent Pool. It will enable the production of the medicine by generic manufacturers and make it available sooner and at lower prices. 

Following a recent clinical trial data, the WHO suggests the use of remdesivir in mild or moderate COVID-19 patients, who are at high risk of hospitalization.

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