According to the World Health Organization, the number of new coronavirus cases increased by 18% last week, with more than 4.1 million cases reported worldwide.
The United Nations Health Agency said in its latest weekly report on the pandemic that the world's death toll was about 8,500, the same as last week. COVID-related deaths increased in three regions: the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Americas.
According to a report released late Wednesday, the largest weekly increase in new COVID-19 cases was seen in the Middle East, an increase of 47%. According to WHO, infectious diseases increased by about 32% in Europe and Southeast Asia and by about 14% in the Americas.
WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said cases are increasing in 110 countries, primarily due to the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.
"This pandemic is changing, but it's not over yet," Tedros said at a press conference this week. He states that the ability to track the genetic evolution of COVID-19 is "at risk" as the country eases surveillance and gene sequencing efforts to catch new potentially dangerous variants. Warned that it would make things more difficult.
He called on countries to immunize the most vulnerable, including healthcare workers and people over the age of 60, with hundreds of millions of people remaining unvaccinated and serious. He said he was at risk of illness and death.
Tedros said that while more than 1.2 billion COVID-19 vaccines are being administered worldwide, the average immunity rate in poor countries is about 13%.
"If developed countries vaccinate 6-month-old children and plan to vaccinate them, low-income countries will vaccinate the countries at highest risk. I don't understand the suggestion that it shouldn't be boosted. People], "he said.
According to figures compiled by Oxfam and the People's Vaccine Alliance, less than half of the 2.1 billion vaccines promised to poor countries by a group of seven great powers have been delivered.
Earlier this month, the United States approved the COVID-19 vaccine for infants and preschoolers and developed a national immune program for 18 million youngest children.
US regulatory agencies have also recommended that some adults get the latest boosters that match the latest coronavirus variants in the fall.