WHO: Easing of Covid precautions regrettable amid global rise in cases

Geneva, Apr 12 (EFE).- The World Health Organization on Monday lamented that people and some governments are easing off on Covid-19 precautions despite a resurgence in coronavirus cases globally.

Last week saw the fourth-highest one-week tally of new coronavirus infections dating back to the start of the pandemic, with 4.4 million new confirmed cases reported worldwide over that seven-day period, compared with 500,000 new confirmed cases a year ago.

The amount of new cases reported last week rose 9 percent compared to the previous seven-day period, while the number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 climbed by 5 percent.

Despite continuing transmission, worrying behavior has been observed in some countries, with restaurants and nightclubs full, markets crowded and few people taking the necessary precautions to prevent infection, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing on Monday.

He also criticized young people who have been taking Covid-19 lightly, saying it is a serious respiratory disease that has claimed the lives of young, healthy people and caused many of them to suffer severe medical complications.

Following a drop in new cases and deaths during six weeks spanning January and February, the WHO has reported a rise in new cases for seven straight weeks and an increase in Covid-19 deaths for four consecutive weeks.

This has happened even though 780 million doses of different vaccines have been administered, albeit with wide disparities in terms of vaccine distribution between rich and poor countries.

The pandemic is “a long way from over,” he added.

Nevertheless, the decrease in global cases observed earlier this year is cause for a certain degree of optimism because it “shows that this virus and its variants can be stopped” if the proper health precautions are followed.

The world is now at a “critical point,” Maria van Kerkhove, the technical lead for Covid-19 at the WHO’s health emergencies program, said for her part, adding that the trajectory of the pandemic is now “growing exponentially.”

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