A combination of factors, including misinformation that the pandemic is over, the lifting of mask mandates, ending physical distancing – and a more transmissible Omicron BA.2 variant – are causing an increase of COVID-19 cases globally, the World Health Organization warned on Wednesday.
“After several weeks of declines, reported cases of COVID-19 are once again increasing globally, especially in parts of Asia”, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus told journalists in Geneva.
He added that continued local outbreaks and surges are to be expected, particularly in areas where measures to prevent transmission have been lifted, but that there are ‘unacceptably high’ levels of mortality in many countries, especially where vaccination levels are low among susceptible populations.
“Each country is facing a different situation with different challenges, but the pandemic is not over”, he reiterated. More