(CMR) Although vaccination is ongoing in several countries, the rate of COVID-19 infections is rising at an alarming rate, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. In fact, last week, the WHO reported the most COVID-19 cases recorded in a week.
More than 5.2 million new cases were recorded last week, the most in a single week since the pandemic began, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news briefing in Geneva on Monday.
He also noted that deaths increased for the fifth straight week, with the official death toll as a result of the virus now more than 3 million people.
“It took nine months to reach 1 million deaths, four months to reach 2 million, and three months to reach 3 million deaths. Big numbers can make us numb, but each one of these deaths is a tragedy for families, communities, and nations,” Ghebreyesus stated.
He suggested that the spread may be shifting to younger adults as older adults have been getting vaccinated. The hospitalization among people age 25 to 59 has been increasing at an alarming rate, possibly due to highly transmissible variants and increased social mixing among younger people, Ghebreyesus said in a CNN report.
Brazil is one country where a new variant has caused a devastating surge in hospitalizations and deaths. India is also suffering from a second wave of the virus, with more than 200,000 new cases on each of the past six days, nearly 1.5 million in the last week. Among India's many active cases is former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is in stable condition in hospital after contracting Covid-19, CNN reported.
With more than 15 million infections, India is now only second to the United States, which has reported almost 32 million infections. England added India to its travel ban list on Monday, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson canceled a scheduled trip there.
The number of cases and hospitalizations has risen over the past month in the US despite millions being vaccinated. Experts believe the coronavirus variants are a major contributing factor.