« Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented on the surge of hospitalisations due to COVID-19 during a press conference held in Geneva on Wednesday.
« We continue to see concerning trends for COVID-19 ahead of the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. These are increasing in some parts of the Middle East and Asia, ICU admissions are increasing in Europe and hospitalisations are increasing in several regions », Tedros said.
Nevertheless, WHO Director-General stated that data about the reported COVID-19 surge ‘are limited’. « Only 43 countries, less than a quarter of WHO member states, are reporting that to the WHO, and only 20 providing information on hospitalisations », he lamented.
Tedros added that WHO is monitoring the EG.5 variant of interest, as it is currently experiencing an increase in cases, while the XBB subvariants are showing a decline. The BA 2.86 variant has been identified in limited numbers across 11 countries, he aded.
In May 2023, WHO declared the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency. As Tedros cautioned that the virus remains a threat, the number of registered cases, hospitalizations and deaths globally has reportedly continued to decline in the last year, while the risk of severe disease and death is considered vastly lower following the increasing population immunity. »