WHO ‘Concerned’ About COVID Increase in Northern Hemisphere

GENEVA — The increase in cases of COVID-19 in the northern hemisphere is worrying healthcare authorities around the world, who are aware that these countries usually experience a peak in respiratory infections during the winter months.

During a recent press conference, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged nations to closely monitor COVID-19 cases and report the number of hospital admissions caused by the disease over the last few months, especially in Europe.

“The virus is currently reinfecting large numbers of individuals, millions of people, every week,” warned Maria Van Kerkhove, MD, PhD, WHO’s COVID-19 technical consultant. “We don’t have a good idea of the number of infections and reinfections currently happening, because monitoring has been relaxed. But we have some indications of the current trend, in terms of impact.”

Around the world, more than 1.4 million new cases of COVID-19 and more than 2300 deaths were reported between July 17 and August 13, 2023, which is an increase of 63% and a reduction of 56%, respectively, compared with the previous 28 days.

Cases on the Rise
Van Kerkhove mentioned the slight increase observed in Europe in recent months. “It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, and this is really not what we expect when we talk about respiratory diseases such as the flu, which usually peak during the winter months.”

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