California unveils plan to treat coronavirus as a manageable risk, marking new phase in pandemic response

Newly reported coronavirus cases are falling around the world, but World Health Organization officials urged caution on Wednesday, saying a drop in testing could contribute to the drop and covid deaths remain at a low. alarming level.

In the week starting February 7, health officials reported 16.3 million new infections worldwide, down 18.2% from the previous week, according to WHO figures. Deaths, however, rose slightly over the same period, to over 73,000, an increase of 0.5% from the previous week.

“This is the sixth week in a row that we have seen an increase in deaths,” WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove told a news conference. live broadcast event. “At this point in the pandemic, when we have tools that can save lives, that’s way, way too much.”

Mike Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies chief, urged people to get vaccinated and to maintain preventive measures such as masking, isolation or quarantine. “This idea that we’re going to give up everything, I think that’s a very premature concept in a lot of countries right now,” he said.

WHO-designated West Pacific The region – which covers most of the countries between Mongolia and Australia – was the only one of its six regions to record an increase in cases for the week starting February 7. It recorded nearly 1.57 million new cases this week, reflecting an increase of 18.7%. increase from the previous week.

All other regions, including Africa, where less than a fifth of the continent’s 1.2 billion people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, has seen the number of new infections plummet, according to WHO tallies.

The Eastern Mediterranean region — including countries in Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East – saw the largest proportional jump in deaths during the week of February 7, reporting 3,286 deaths, an increase of almost 40% from the previous week.

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