WHO: COVID continues to decline, except in Americas, Africa

May 3, 2022, 10:30 PM | Updated: May 4, 2022, 10:53 am
A worker wearing a protective suit swabs a man's throat for a COVID-19 test at a testing site durin...

A worker wearing a protective suit swabs a man's throat for a COVID-19 test at a testing site during the second consecutive day of mass testing in Beijing, Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Beijing on Wednesday closed around 10% of the stations in its vast subway system as an additional measure against the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization said Wednesday that the number of newly reported coronavirus cases and deaths globally continued to fall in the last week, continuing a decline that first began in March.

In its weekly report on the pandemic, the U.N. health agency said there were about 3.8 million new infections and more than 15,000 deaths last week, a 17% and 3% drop on the week respectively. But those figures are believed to be a significant underestimate of COVID-19’s true toll as increasing numbers of countries abandon widespread testing and surveillance.

Still, the WHO noted that cases rose by about a third in Africa and 13% in the Americas. There was also a nearly 70% jump in deaths reported in India, although that was attributed to delayed reporting rather than a recent surge of disease.

Last week, authorities in South Africa said they had noted an uptick in COVID-19 cases attributable to the BA.4 mutant of omicron, although they said it was too early to tell if that would result in a significant new wave of disease. Although the BA.4 version of COVID-19’s omicron variant appears more infectious than omicron, the WHO said there was no evidence yet that it was leading to substantially higher rates of hospitalization or death.

Salim Abdool Karim, a public health expert at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said that while only a “modest” rise in cases had been noted, South Africa was also in the middle of a holiday period and testing had dropped significantly. He said the cases were slowing and were “not following a rocket-like upward trajectory we would expect” in another spike of disease.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan said it was soon to tell if COVID-19 was entering a seasonal pattern and warned against countries dropping all of their restrictions too quickly — as many in the West have done.

“The jury is still out as to how seasonal this virus will become,” he said, explaining that it wasn’t proven yet that COVID-19 would naturally drop off in the summer and that the world could yet face more unsettling variants. “If people are crowded together in conditions where a new variant is spreading, you will see high levels of transmission,” he said.

Meanwhile in China, authorities continued to crack down on cities including Beijing, where more than 10% of the subway system was shut down in an effort to curb the virus’ spread, after authorities in the capital already closed down indoor dining, gyms and school classes.

In Shanghai, rigid and widely derided restrictions have led to shortages of food and medical aid along with a wider — though likely temporary — impact on the national economy. Desperate, outraged citizens have confronted authorities at barricades and online, screamed out of their windows and banged pots and pans in a sign of frustration and anger.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)...
Associated Press

Fish and Wildlife shoots wrong wolf, more attacks confirmed

Wolves from two packs in northeast Washington state have attacked more cattle
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Mexican drug lord claims attack was aimed at him

MEXICO CITY (AP) — In a video posted on social media, a man claiming to be a Mexican drug cartel leader says an attack that killed 20 people including a mayor was in fact aimed at him. Authorities in Mexico said Friday they are still investigating the authenticity of a video attributed to José Alfredo […]
1 day ago
FILE — Police walk near Robb Elementary School following a shooting, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Tex...
Associated Press

Uvalde schools suspend entire police force after outrage

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Uvalde school district on Friday pulled its embattled campus police force off the job following a wave of new outrage over the hiring of a former Texas state trooper who was part of the hesitant law enforcement response during the May shooting at Robb Elementary School. School leaders also put […]
1 day ago
In this photo released by the Nigeria State House, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari attends a b...
Associated Press

Nigeria’s Buhari proposes record $47.3B budget for 2023

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is launching an ambitious plan to grow the West African nation’s economy and end its security woes with record government expenditure during the next fiscal year. The record 20.5 trillion naira ($47.3 billion) proposed expenditure “reflects the serious challenges” faced by Nigeria and contains “key reforms necessary […]
1 day ago
A protester holds a placard during a demonstration to commemorate the fifth anniversary of an indep...
Associated Press

Catalan separatism in disarray after ruling coalition breaks

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Catalonia’s separatist movement has suffered its biggest rift since it became the leading political force in northeast Spain for the past decade after the junior member of its ruling coalition abandoned the region’s government. The Together for Catalonia party announced Friday that it was leaving the Barcelona-based government headed regional President […]
1 day ago
Members of the Supreme Court sit for a new group portrait following the addition of Associate Justi...
Associated Press

Supreme Court’s new ‘class photo’ includes number of firsts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The group photo of the Supreme Court’s nine members is a long-standing ritual. But it has never looked quite like the one taken on Friday. The new image includes Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black female justice, who joined the court in June. With her addition, the court marks a number […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
WHO: COVID continues to decline, except in Americas, Africa