Be prepared for fresh COVID-19 waves, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has warned, amid the onset of new variants that are more transmissible, immune evasive and growing concerns about greater hospitalisations.
There is mounting evidence that suggests that Omicron subvariants –BA.4 and BA.5 – are infecting people who have been vaccinated.
“We need to be prepared for these #COVID19 waves — each new #variant will be more transmissible & immune evasive — higher numbers infected will translate into greater hospitalisations & sickness. All countries must have a data driven plan to quickly respond to changing situations,” Swaminathan tweeted on Thursday.
She was tweeting in response to a Twitter thread by Senior Advisor at World Bank Group Philip Schellekens who said that “we are seeing a global U-turn in COVID-19 mortality. Following months of decline, it has started to rise again,” which did not come as a big surprise “given properties of BA.5, relaxed attitudes towards infection control and 3/4 of the world not being up-to-date on vaccination.”
Schellekens said the pandemic is intensifying in high-income countries and upper-middle-income countries are also seeing an up-tick in new cases.
He noted that the US, France, Italy, Germany and Japan are the “drivers of the global surge” among high-income countries and Brazil, an upper-middle-income country, is leading the developing world.
“Mortality rates have started to edge up slightly,” he said, adding that the US and Brazil are currently the main contributors to global mortality.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference earlier this week, said he is concerned that cases of COVID-19 are climbing — putting further pressure on stretched health systems and health-care workers.
WHO chief noted that the sub-variants of Omicron, like BA.4 and BA.5, continue to drive waves of cases, hospitalisation and death around the world.
India reports over 20k new cases
NEW DELHI, JUL 15 (PTI): India on Friday logged a single-day rise of 20,038 new coronavirus infections, pushing the tally of cases to 4,37,10,027, while the count of active cases of the disease has increased to 1,39,073, the Health Ministry said.
The death toll due to the disease has climbed to 5,25,604 with 47 new fatalities being reported, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Active cases now comprise 0.32 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.48 per cent, the health ministry said.
An increase of 2,997 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload of the country in a span of 24 hours, the data showed. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 4.44 per cent and the weekly positivity rate at 4.30 per cent, according to the ministry.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,30,45,350, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.20 per cent, as per the data.
Nagaland logs 14 fresh Covid cases
DIMAPUR, JUL 15 (NPN): Nagaland on Friday recorded another spike of 14 fresh Covid-19 cases, while no deaths were reported during the day.
Of the fresh cases, six were from Dimapur, five in Kohima, two in Longleng and one in Zunheboto, taking the total caseload to 35,592.
The death toll remained unchanged at 763 (including 5 non-Covid deaths but with positivity).
The State currently has 61 active cases—55 under home isolation and six admitted to Covid-19 hospitals.