Covid Cases’ Global Rise is “Tip of the Iceberg”

After more than a month in decline, Covid cases rose globally last week, and the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the figures are just the “tip of the iceberg.” 

The figures showing the global uptick in cases could mean a much bigger problem, WHO warned, saying that nations need to remain vigilant against the virus. It comes as many countries are reporting a drop in their testing rates. 

For the past month, the case numbers of Covid have dropped around the world. But last week, they began to increase again. New infections jumped up 8 percent globally compared to the week prior, with 11 million new cases and 43,000 new deaths reported for the week of March 7 to March 13. This is the first rise since the end of January. 

Lockdowns have been imposed again in Asia and in China’s Jilin province, which is battling to contain an outbreak, despite China’s “zero tolerance” policy for Covid. The Western Pacific region has had the biggest jumps, including in China and South Korea. 

A combination of factors has caused the increase in cases, WHO said, including the variants of Covid. Omicron, which is highly transmissible, is part of the reason that cases are on the rise. 

Another variant, however, is also causing issues: the BA.2 sub-variant, a cousin to Omicron. 

These variants, combined with the lifting of public health and social measures, is creating space for the Covid rates to increase. 

Another issue is low vaccination rates in some countries and in some areas of countries. For example, the U.S. has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western countries, and in wealthy countries. And in certain regions of the U.S., that rate is extremely low. 

WHO said that low vaccination rates are driven partly by huge amounts of misinformation. 

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