WHO says most regions of the globe are seeing an increase in Covid cases as variants spread

Paramedics decrease a affected person from an ambulance outdoors the emergency division of the Royal London Hospital in London, England, on January 26, 2021.

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Most regions of the globe are seeing an increase in new Covid-19 cases as extremely contagious variants proceed to spread, the World Health Organization mentioned Monday.

New cases worldwide elevated by 8% over the final week, the fifth week in a row that the WHO has seen an increase in transmission, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the company’s technical lead for Covid-19, informed reporters throughout a press briefing.

Cases in Europe, the place the extremely contagious B.1.1.7 variant is quickly spreading, elevated by 12%, Kerkhove mentioned. The WHO has additionally seen a 49% increase in cases in the Southeast Asia area, an 8% increase in the Eastern Mediterranean area and a 29% increase in the Western Pacific area, pushed by an increase in infections in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, she mentioned.

The Americas and Africa noticed a “slight decline,” Kerkhove mentioned, however added that the case numbers total are “worrying.”

“There is pressure to open up in many of these countries and there are difficulties in people and individuals and communities to comply with proven control measures,” she mentioned, including that there was a “slight increase” in deaths throughout the world. “We’re also seeing that vaccination distribution is uneven and inequitable.”

The WHO’s feedback come as public well being officers throughout the world develop involved that reopening too shortly amid an increase of new, extremely contagious variants may reverse progress in the world pandemic. Some international locations, together with the United States, have seen an increase in new Covid-19 cases even as they vaccinate hundreds of thousands of their residents every day.

Roughly 82.7 million Americans have acquired no less than one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and greater than 44.9 million are totally vaccinated, in response to information compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Still, the seven-day common of new cases rose by 5% or extra in 27 states as of Sunday, in response to a CNBC evaluation of information compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The nation logged an common of 54,308 new cases per day over the previous week — a 1% rise from the prior week after months of quickly declining case numbers, in response to the Hopkins information.

Earlier Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy mentioned the state would doubtless pause its reopening plans as Covid-19 cases start to rise once more there.

Also Monday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky urged all Americans to stay “vigilant” as officers race to get the majority of Americans vaccinated.

“We are at a critical point in this pandemic,” Walensky mentioned throughout a White House information briefing. “I’m worried that if we don’t take the right actions now we will have another avoidable surge just as we are seeing in Europe right now.”

Kerkhove urged the public to proceed to observe security measures, together with social distancing, sporting masks, washing arms and avoiding crowded areas. She additionally urged world leaders to prioritize vaccinating people most in danger.

“There remains to be much more we are able to do at an particular person stage, at a group stage, as leaders in authorities, she mentioned.

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