The global number of COVID cases has increased due to holiday gatherings and the emergence of a new variant, according to the United Nations Health Agency.
Last month, the leader of the United Nations’ health organization stated that holiday gatherings and the prevalence of the dominant variant worldwide were responsible for a rise in COVID-19 transmission.
According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, approximately 10,000 fatalities were recorded in December. Additionally, hospital admissions increased by 42% in almost 50 countries, with the majority of these countries being in Europe and the Americas. This information was shared by countries that experienced this trend.
The director-general of the World Health Organization stated to reporters in Geneva that while 10,000 deaths per month is lower than the highest point of the pandemic, it is still not an acceptable number of avoidable deaths.
He stated that it was definite that there was an increase in cases in locations that have not been reporting. He urged governments to maintain surveillance and ensure ongoing availability of treatments and vaccines.
Tedros stated that the JN.1 variant has become the predominant strain globally. Although it is an omicron variant, existing vaccines should still offer some level of protection.
Maria Van Kerkhove, a technical expert at the World Health Organization (WHO) for COVID-19, mentioned a rise in respiratory illnesses worldwide caused by not only the coronavirus, but also influenza, rhinovirus, and pneumonia.
She stated that we anticipate those patterns to persist during the winter months of January in the northern hemisphere, but also pointed out a rise in COVID-19 cases in the southern hemisphere, where it is currently summer.
In the winter, it is not uncommon to experience coughing, sniffling, fever, and fatigue. However, Van Kerkhove noted that this year, there is a simultaneous spread of various types of pathogens.
The World Health Organization suggests that individuals receive vaccinations when available, wear masks, and ensure proper ventilation in indoor spaces.
Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO’s head of emergencies, stated that while the vaccines may not prevent infection, they do greatly decrease the likelihood of hospitalization or death.