Start of 2021 sees upward trend in Covid situation: WHO

Following two weeks of lower reporting towards the end of 2020, an overall upward trend of the Covid-19 pandemic has been witnessed in the first several weeks of 2021, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official said.

On Monday, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said at the ongoing 148th session of the world body’s Executive Board that some 5 million coronavirus cases were reported last week globally, reports Xinhua news agency.

The number of new deaths has also shown a similar trend, with over 93,000 fatalities reported last week, and the figure is likely to reach 100,000 per week very soon, he said.

According to Ryan, although nearly 84 per cent of deaths were in people over 65, it is important to note that some 16 per cent of all fatalities were among those aged between 25 and 64.

The WHO official also said that the more cases a country has, the higher the mortality impact will be in the country’s population.

“So in that sense, the previous strategies of herd immunity, by mass infection rather than mass vaccination, will lead to high incidence and high mortality,” he said.

he total number of global coronavirus cases has topped 95.5 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 2.03 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Tuesday morning, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 95,530,563 and 2,039,283, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 24,073,555 and 398,977, respectively, according to the CSSE.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide, 64 of them in clinical trials, according to the WHO.

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