WHO calls for increased Covid-19 surveillance in all countries

Geneva, Aug 25 (EFE).- The World Health Organization Friday urged global caution for the COVID-19 after an increase in hospitalizations and deaths in some countries.

During a media briefing Friday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the UN health agency had issued recommendations for countries on long-term COViD management.

“We continue to call on all countries to strengthen surveillance, sequencing, and reporting so that we can assess the risk of new variants,” said Adhanom.

The newly detected strains belong to the Omicron variant of disease. But, there is no evidence that they pose a greater health risk than previous subvariants.

One of variants has reportedly been found mostly in China, accounting for more than 70 percent of COVID-19 infections.

The strain was reported for the first time in February.

According to the Pan American Health Organization, the variant has also been detected in Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and the US. But without any indication of changes in the severity of the disease.

Less than 20 countries worldwide still report COVID-19 hospitalization and ICU data to the WHO.

The data gap has left the health body clueless about the impact of the new variants.

WHO’s COVID-19 task force head Maria Van Kerkhove said the UN body did not have good visibility of the impact of COVID-19 around the world.

“While we are certainly not in the same situation that we were in a year ago or two years ago, SARS-Cov-2 circulates in all countries right now,” said Van Kerkhove.

“It is still causing a large number of infections, hospitalizations, admissions to the ICU and deaths.” EFE


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