After five weeks of declining deaths from COVID-19, the number of deaths reported globally rose by four percent last week, according to the World Health Organization.
In its weekly assessment of the pandemic issued on Thursday, the UN health agency said there were 8,700 deaths from COVID-19 last week, with a 21 percent jump in the Americas and a 17 percent increase in the Western Pacific.
The WHO said coronavirus cases continued to fall, with around 3.2 million new cases reported last week, extending a decline in COVID-19 infections since the peak in January. Still, there were significant spikes in infection in some regions, with the Middle East and Southeast Asia reporting increases of 58 percent and 33 percent respectively.
“Because many countries have reduced surveillance and testing, we know that this number is underreported,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier this week.
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He said there was “no acceptable level of deaths from COVID-19” given that the global community now has the vaccines, drugs and diagnostics to stop the virus.
While many wealthy countries in Europe and North America have mostly lifted their virus restrictions, China’s extreme policies on COVID-19 have meant more mass testing, quarantining and isolating anyone who has come into contact with a virus. case.
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China’s capital brought school back online this week in one of its major districts amid a new COVID-19 outbreak linked to a nightclub. Beijing residents still undergo regular testing, mostly every two days, and must wear masks and swipe a mobile phone app to enter public places to make case tracing easier.
China has maintained its “COVID zero” policy despite considerable economic costs and the World Health Organization chief’s claim that the policy is not sustainable.
This week, US officials took another step toward licensing coronavirus vaccines for younger children, after the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisors approved Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for children. under five years old.
Outside experts voted unanimously that the benefits of injections outweigh any risks for children under five years of age: approximately 18 million children. They are the last age group in the US without access to COVID-19 vaccines, and many parents have been anxious to protect their young children.
If all the regulatory steps are cleared, the vaccines should be available next week.
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