The World Health Organisation has expressed worry over the rising number of deaths in many countries.
According to the WHO, more than 170,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the past eight weeks.
Speaking during a media briefing on global health issues monitored by our correspondent on Tuesday, the Director General of the organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 will meet this week to discuss whether the current situation still constitutes a global emergency.
The PUNCH reports that globally, as of January 23, 2023, there have been 664,097,132 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 6,716,108 deaths, reported to WHO.
Ghebreyesus said, “Since the beginning of December, the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 has been increasing. In total, in the past eight weeks, more than 170,000 people have died of COVID-19. That’s just reported deaths; the actual number of deaths is much higher.
“Almost exactly three years on from declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, our highest level of alert, this week the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 will meet to discuss whether the current situation still constitutes a global emergency.
“While I will not pre-empt the advice of the Emergency Committee, I remain very concerned by the situation in many countries and the rising number of deaths.
“While we are clearly in better shape than 3 years ago when this pandemic first hit, the global collective response is once again under strain.”
The WHO boss noted that too few people, especially older people and health workers are adequately vaccinated.
“Fragile health systems are struggling to cope with the burden of COVID-19, on top of caring for patients with other diseases including flu & Respiratory syncytial virus. Surveillance and genetic sequencing have declined dramatically, making it difficult to track known variants and detect new ones.
“And there’s a torrent of pseudo-science and misinformation circulating, which is undermining trust in safe and effective tools for COVID-19
“It has and will continue to surprise us and it will continue to kill unless we do more to get health tools to people that need them and to comprehensively tackle misinformation,” Ghebreyesus added.