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Global trends in Covid-19 infections: WHO chief explains in 3 charts

World News

Concerning trends from Europe suggest that the world needs to step up vaccination campaigns and ensure high coverage, said World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Wednesday.

The health expert took to Twitter to note that there has been a global increase in cases in Europe, Americas and Western Pacific regions. However, deaths have plateaued at around 50,000 a week, she said. Dr. Swaminathan reiterated the need to ensure adherence to social distancing, wearing masks in public places, and following Covid-19 protocol as per norms.

Dr. Swaminathan’s warnings comes amidst worries of India facing a third wave of Covid-19 infections. The last big spike in infections and deaths were observed in May 2021, leading to a shortage of hospital beds and over-burdening of medical facilities. Since then, however, India has stepped up its vaccination program. Yet, only 27% of the population is fully vaccinated till date.

Here are three trends to note, as per the WHO chief:

1. Europe sees spike in cases, deaths

Sharing a graph showing the progress of the infections and deaths in the European Region since January 2020, Dr. Swaminathan wrote on Twitter, “Very concerning trends from Europe. 8% increase of cases and 5% increase in deaths. We need to step up vaccination campaigns and ensure high coverage first among the elderly and vulnerable. Also, continue masking, don’t crowd in unventilated places and stay home if sick.”

2. Most deaths among the unvaccinated

Dr. Swaminathan said that the deaths are mostly concentrated among the unvaccinated. Over 35% of population in the European region remains to be fully vaccinated.

“Most deaths are in the unvaccinated in all countries. We need use the vaccine supplies for primary courses and save lives,” she wrote on Twitter.

3. Delta variant still dominant

Dr. Swaminathan added that delta variant of coronavirus accounts for 99.7% of viral subtypes in the last two weeks.

“#Delta variant accounts for 99.7% of viral subtypes in @GISAID over past 60 days. In South America there is still some Mu and Lambda circulating. #AY4.2 sublineage may have some transmission advantage & needs watching,” she wrote.

With rise in coronavirus cases, Europe has become the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic again. This has prompted some governments to consider re-imposing unpopular lockdowns.

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