As the new omicron form sweeps the globe, the World Health Organization announced Thursday that a record 9.5 million instances of Covid-19 had been tallied throughout the world in the previous week, citing a 71 percent increase in the weekly total of infections, describing it as a “tsunami.”
“Last week, the pandemic’s greatest number of Covid-19 cases were recorded,” stated WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Because of a backlog in testing during the year-end holidays, he said the WHO was convinced it was an underestimate.
According to the UN health agency’s weekly update on the epidemic, there were 9,520,488 new cases and over 41 000 new fatalities reported in the previous week.
“It does not imply it should be labelled as light,” the WHO head stated, despite the fact that omicron appears to be less severe than the delta version, especially among persons who have been vaccinated. Omicron, like prior variations, is putting people in hospitals and killing them.”
“In fact, the tsunami of cases is so large and fast that it is overwhelming health systems throughout the world,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said during a routine press conference.
According to the WHO, case counts increased by a factor of two in the Americas but only by 7% in Africa in the same week.
Dr. Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergency head, called notion that omicron was the last type of the epidemic “wishful thinking,” adding, “There is still a lot of vitality in this virus.”
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s Covid-19 technical head, added: “I don’t think omicron will be the last version you hear us debate,” says the author.