Covid News: New Omicron sub-variants are expanding rapidly in New York

Credit …Andrew’s Test for The New York Times

The coronavirus continues to haunt the world with an astonishing clip, surpassing a number of sad pandemic milestones in 2022: a total of 300 million cases are known worldwide in early January, 400 million in early February and half a year on Tuesday. billion.

There have almost certainly been many more infections than 7.9 billion people in the world, many of them undiagnosed or unreported, and differences in reporting may only increase as some countries, including the United States, reduce official controls.

“It’s dangerous,” Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington who used to be at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a recent interview. “If you don’t check, then you don’t know what options you have.”

The World Health Organisation’s regional officials recently urged African countries to step up testing and contact tracing, and called on some American countries to redouble their efforts to increase vaccination and testing, as the number of cases in Europe remains higher. (Britain, for example, has stopped free testing.) A WHO analysis also recently estimated that 65 percent of Africans were infected with coronavirus in September 2021, nearly 100 times the number confirmed on the continent.

The number of new cases registered every day around the world has been declining for some time; According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, there have been an average of about 1.1 million cases a day last week. That’s about 32 percent less than two weeks ago.

But during a pandemic, countries with limited public health resources may have detected and confirmed only a small proportion of their populations. And the latest figures may not include many home-based rapid test results that are never officially reported. Many people with infections are never tested because they have no symptoms or do not have access to the test, or if they want to avoid a positive test result or choose not to do so for other reasons.

Coronavirus deaths have also decreased. The world reported an average of 3,800 a day last week, down 23 percent from two weeks ago.

However, the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently said that the world is still in the acute phase of a pandemic, and many health experts agree.

Expert warnings have not deterred many countries from abandoning pandemic precautions almost completely in the two months since the world’s illness has exceeded 400 million. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines in late February, suggesting that most Americans could stop wearing masks and no longer need to keep a social distance or avoid crowded indoor spaces.

“What’s happening in the world and in the United States,” Dr. Mokdad, “is that people basically gave up. They just want to return to normal life.

This desire is threatened by the rapid spread of a sub-variant of Omicron known as BA.2, which is the most transmitted version of the virus to date. BA.2 now accounts for the majority of new cases in the United States and worldwide; it has spread even faster than BA.1, which has helped increase fuel growth during the winter.

Recent growth may have peaked in some parts of Europe, but Hong Kong is still trying to avoid an outbreak that began in January, and Shanghai residents have closed and reported food shortages.

“Focusing on new cases is justified,” said Crystal Watson, a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Health Security Center in a recent interview. “What we are seeing in China is a very extraordinary increase in cases because they have not been much exposed there and the vaccine is less effective there.”

According to Oxford University’s Our World in Data project, more than 5.1 billion people – about 66.4 percent of the world’s population – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. More than 1.7 billion booster injections or booster doses have been given worldwide. However, the coverage varies greatly from region to region. Africa has the lowest rates of any continent, and about 20 percent of people have received at least one dose.

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."

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