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WHO: One person died of COVID every 12 seconds last week

WHO: One person died of COVID every 12 seconds last week
January 24
21:12 2022

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says in the past week, one person died of COVID every 12 seconds.

Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said this on Monday at the 150th session of the WHO executive board meeting ongoing in Geneva, Switzerland.

The DG noted that it’s been two years since the organisation declared COVID a global health emergency, adding that almost 350 million cases have now been reported, and more than 5.5 million deaths.

“On average last week, 100 cases were reported every three seconds, and somebody lost their life to COVID-19 every 12 seconds,” he said.

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“Since Omicron was first identified just nine weeks ago, more than 80 million cases have been reported to WHO — more than were reported in the whole of 2020.

“So far, the explosion in cases has not been matched by a surge in deaths, although deaths are increasing in all regions, especially in Africa, the region with the least access to vaccines.”

Ghebreyesus said although it is true that the world will be living with COVID for the foreseeable future, “learning to live with COVID cannot mean that we give this virus a free ride”.

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“There are different scenarios for how the pandemic could play out, and how the acute phase could end – but it is dangerous to assume that Omicron will be the last variant, or that we are in the endgame,” he said.

“We recognise that everyone is tired of this pandemic; that people are tired of restrictions on their movement, travel and other freedoms; that economies and businesses are hurting; and that many governments are walking a tightrope, attempting to balance what is effective with what is acceptable to their people.

“Each country is in a unique situation, and must chart its way out of the acute phase of the pandemic with a careful, stepwise approach.

“It’s difficult, and there are no easy answers, but WHO continues to work nationally, regionally and globally to provide the evidence, the strategies, the tools and the technical and operational support countries need.

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“If countries use all of these strategies and tools in a comprehensive way, we can end the acute phase of the pandemic this year – we can end COVID-19 as a global health emergency, and we can do it this year.”

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