WHO ‘really concerned’ about COVID situation with ‘intense transmission in several parts of the world’ | World News

The World Health Organization says it is concerned about the “risk to life” amid a surge in cases of COVID-19 in China, while the Omicron subtype XBB.1.5 is spreading rapidly in Europe and the United States.

The WHO confirmed on Wednesday. XBB.1.5 It is by far the most commonly transmitted variant, but so far it is said not to cause much serious disease.

It evolved from Omicron’s XBB variant, itself a combination of two different BA.2 variants – BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75.

Speaking at a news conference, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the UN agency was “closely monitoring and assessing the risk” of XBB.1.5.

“We are truly concerned about the current COVID-19 pandemic picture, with severe transmission and a resurgent subform rapidly spreading in many parts of the world.”

More than 40 percent COVID Cases in the US are now due to XBB.1.5, and scientists have warned that this could happen “Watch out” for this year.

It was originally discovered in October 2022 and has now been identified in more than 25 countries, including the UK.

China’s recent COVID-19 outbreak is primarily led by Omicron subtypes BA.5.2 and BF.7, which together account for 97.5% of all local infections.

Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s emergency director, has said that China’s Covid data does not give an accurate picture of the situation there and understates the number of hospitalizations and deaths from the disease.

Last month, China narrowed its definition for classifying deaths as COVID-related, choosing to count only those with pneumonia or respiratory failure.

This has raised concerns among global health experts.

The WHO says deaths should be attributed to COVID if they result from a “clinically compatible illness” in a patient with probable or confirmed infection — and no other unrelated cause of death is included. such as trauma.

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China has reported five or fewer deaths a day since the policy U-turn.

But many Chinese funeral homes and Hospitals They say they are overwhelmed, and international health experts predict at least one million Covid-related deaths in China this year without urgent action.

Dr Tedros said that the WHO has reiterated this. China “Importance of vaccination, including booster doses to prevent hospitalization, severe illness and death”.

“We continue to ask China for more rapid, regular, reliable data on hospitalizations and deaths, as well as more comprehensive, real-time viral sequencing,” he said.

The WHO said the majority of cases in China’s data show subtypes BA.5.2 and BF.7, provided by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from other countries. were matched to the genomes of travelers from China.

No new variation or variation of known significance was noted in the data.

On Saturday, England joined a growing list of countries. Demand a negative COVID test before departure For travelers from China.

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