World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Wednesday warned of a rise in deaths and admissions to intensive care units (ICU) of patients with Covid-19 and insisted the malady was here to stay. Hence, more tools were needed to fight it.
Deaths from Covid-19 are rising in East Asia and the Middle East, as are hospitalizations for the disease in Europe, at a time when many countries have stopped reporting these data because of the end of the international emergency, the World Health Organization also warned.
Only 43 countries continue to report deaths and only 20 give data on hospitalizations, Ghebreyesus explained during a press conference.
The increase in deaths and hospitalizations shows that Covid is here to stay and we will continue to need tools to fight it, the Ethiopian official also said.
He acknowledged that currently no single variant of the coronavirus has been shown to be dominant on a global scale, although the EG.5 one, also known as Eris, is on the rise.
Tedros also expressed the WHO's concern about people belonging to at-risk groups who have not received doses of the antiviral vaccine recently as winter looms over in the northern hemisphere.
We continue to see worrying trends as the winter season approaches in the northern hemisphere, he said.
We continue to see concerning trends for #COVID19. What worries us the most is the low level of at-risk people who have received a vaccine dose recently. Please don't wait to get an additional dose if it is recommended for you, Tedros stressed on X, formerly known as Twitter.
WHO Covid-19 expert Maria van Kerkhove said hundreds of thousands of people were currently being admitted for the disease and recalled that the low winter temperatures favor the spread of the virus.