US: COVID is making a resurgence. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that the pandemic is “nowhere near ending,” and expressed alarm that the virus is running free.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed concern that the number of cases was increasing, putting further strain on already taxed health institutions and staff.
According to a news conference, “new waves of the virus reveal again that COVID-19 is not near over,” he said.
It’s “freely circulating and governments are not properly managing the illness burden in terms of both hospitalization for acute instances and the rising number of persons with post-COVID condition, often referred to as Long COVID,” he said.
“In order to combat the growth in COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations, governments must also implement proven measures such as masking, enhanced ventilation, as well as test and treat protocols,” said Tedros.
They determined that COVID-19 is still a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the highest level of alert that the WHO can issue, on Friday via video-conference.
Global COVID-19 cases reported to the WHO have surged by 30% in the previous two weeks, led by Omicron sub-variants BA.4, BA.5, and the lifting of public health and social measures, according to WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan.
Changes in testing policies have made it more difficult to discover infections and track virus evolution, according to Ryan.
In a statement on Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized the need to restrict the spread of the virus since the consequences of a pandemic caused by a novel respiratory virus would not yet be completely understood.
As a result of fewer tests, there will be less surveillance and less genome sequencing, according to the group.
As the WHO pointed out, this makes it more difficult to make accurate predictions about how the virus may spread in the future.
New, “fitter” viral varieties are likely to emerge if there are no mechanisms in place to stop transmission, according to a report from the committee, which noted the virus’s evolution and features remain “uncertain and unpredictable.”