On Wednesday, the World Health Organization cautioned that the coronavirus remains a significant threat, even though it has somewhat escaped widespread attention. The UN agency highlighted nearly 10,000 COVID-19 deaths in December, attributing the increased transmission to gatherings during the Christmas holiday and the prevalent JN.1 variant.
“Although COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency, the virus is still circulating, changing, and killing,” WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said.
According to AFP, in addition to the nearly 10,000 deaths reported to the WHO last month, there was a 42% rise in hospitalizations and a 62% increase in intensive care unit admissions compared to November. It’s important to note that these figures are derived from data from fewer than 50 countries, predominantly in Europe and the Americas, as stated by Tedros.
“It is certain that there are also increases in other countries that are not being reported.
“Just as governments and individuals take precautions against other diseases, we must all continue to take precautions against COVID-19.
“Although 10,000 deaths a month is far less than the peak of the pandemic, this level of preventable death is not acceptable,” Tedros said, urging governments to maintain virus surveillance and sequencing and to ensure access to affordable and reliable tests, treatments and vaccines.
“And we continue to call on individuals to be vaccinated, to test, to wear masks where needed and to ensure crowded indoor spaces are well-ventilated,” he said.
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