Top WHO Scientist Has A Note Of Caution On COVID Variants, Waves

New Delhi: Amid concerns over fresh COVID waves, Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organisation has sent a note of caution.

“We need to be prepared for these COVID-19 waves- each new variant will be more transmissible, and immune evasive- higher numbers infected will translate into greater hospitalizations and sickness. All countries must have a data-driven plan to quickly respond to changing situations,” Swaminathan wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Fresh concerns have emerged in Japan and New Zealand among other countries over a spike in cases, according to reports. France is said to topping the global charts.

Swaminathan was responding to a tweet from Philip Schellekens, a senior advisor at the World Bank Group. “We’re seeing a global U-turn in COVID-19 mortality. Following months of decline, it has started to rise again. Not a big surprise given: properties of BA.5, relaxed attitudes towards infection control, 3/4 of the world not being up-to-date on vaccination.” he had tweeted.

In another post, he shared data to highlight that about three-fourth of the world is yet to get booster doses. Among the high-income countries, US, France, and Germany are identified as the drivers of the global surge, he highlighted.

Region wise, according to the WHO, Europe has the highest number of overall COVID cases followed by the Americas, Western Pacific, South East Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, and Africa.

Japan warned on Thursday, according to a Reuters report, that a new wave of COVID infections appeared to be spreading rapidly and urged people to take special care ahead of an approaching long weekend and school summer vacation.

In Macau, the only place where gambling is legal, six casinos are shut. The country logged its slowest economic growth since the initial Covid outbreak Friday, expanding just 0.4 per cent in the second quarter, according to an AFP report.

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