WHO: COVID-19 cases rise for the 5th week, deaths stable
he number of new coronavirus cases reported worldwide rose for the fifth week in a row while the number of deaths remained relatively stable, the World Health Organization reported Thursday.
In the U.N. health agency’s weekly review of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO said there were 5.7 million new infections confirmed last week, marking a 6% increase. There were 9.800 deaths, roughly similar to the previous week’s figure.
Earlier this week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic still qualifies as a global emergency and he was “concerned” about the recent spike.
“The virus is running freely, and countries are not effectively managing the disease burden,” he said during a Tuesday press briefing. “New waves of the virus demonstrate again that COVID-19 is nowhere near over.”
In the last two weeks, cases of COVID-19 reported to WHO surged 30%, driven largely by the hugely infectious omicron relatives, BA.4 and BA.5. The two omicron subvariants have shown a worrisome ability to re-infect people previously vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID.