Bharat Express

WHO Warns About December’s COVID JN.1 Variant Surge; Over 10,000 Die, Number Of Patients Increase

WHO gives warning, says that the relentless impact of the COVID pandemic shows no signs of diminishing and to unleash its terror.

WHO: The relentless impact of the COVID pandemic shows no signs of diminishing, continuing to unleash its terror. In December of last year, the crisis claimed the lives of thousands, marking a grim reality. Providing insights into the situation, the head of the WHO revealed that the surge in COVID-19 transmission during the preceding month was attributed to holiday gatherings and the spread of its new variants globally.

COVID’s December Toll

WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported nearly 10,000 deaths in December 2023, accompanied by a 42% surge in hospitalized patients across nearly 50 countries. The majority of this increase was witnessed in Europe and America.

Preventable Deaths Unacceptable

“While 10,000 deaths per month are well below the peak of the pandemic, this level of preventable deaths is unacceptable,” expressed the Director-General of the World Health Organization during a press briefing in Geneva.

Concerns Beyond Reported Figures

Tedros emphasized that it was “certain” that cases were escalating in unreported areas. He urged governments to sustain surveillance efforts and ensure continued access to treatments and vaccines. Notably, the JN.1 variant, an Omicron variant, has become the predominant strain globally, with assurances that current vaccines should still provide some level of protection.

Global Rise in Respiratory Diseases

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, pointed to a surge in respiratory illnesses worldwide, including those caused by the coronavirus, flu, rhinovirus, and pneumonia. Anticipating these trends to persist through January in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months, he observed the simultaneous rise in COVID-19 in the Southern Hemisphere during its summer. Complaints of cough, runny nose, fever, and fatigue in winter are not uncommon, with the co-circulation of various pathogens noted this year.

Vaccines as Lifesavers

WHO officials strongly advised vaccination, mask-wearing, and ensuring adequate ventilation in indoor spaces whenever possible. Dr. Michael Ryan, head of emergencies at WHO, emphasized that while vaccines may not prevent infection entirely, they significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization or death.

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