Coronavirus, monkeypox cases soaring, WHO chief warns

The head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday that coronavirus cases have doubled in six weeks and reports of monkeypox have soared to almost 14,000 in 70 countries in 2022, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said coronavirus deaths are also increasing but for the moment, not as rapidly as cases.

“More cases mean we can expect to see more hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks,” he said at a media webinar.

The WHO chief said there are many sublineages of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, most notably BA.5, the most transmissible variant that has been detected.

“We will see continued waves of infection, but we need not see continued waves of hospitalization and death. We have the tools to save lives -- vaccines, tests, therapeutics, and public health tools,” said Tedros.

Regarding monkeypox, he said: “So far, five deaths have been reported, all in Africa.”

“Most cases continue to be reported from Europe.”

Tedros said that the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee will reconvene Thursday to consider if the monkeypox outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern -- the WHO’s highest level of emergency.

He said although there is a declining trend for monkeypox in some countries, others are seeing an increase, and six countries reported their first cases last week.


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