Despite the world seemingly getting back to normal, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is warning that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from finished. New surges in coronavirus infections in Thailand and around the world are beginning to strain medical facilities and workers, but people are tired of safety measures and growing impatient, frustrating the head of the WHO.
“The virus is running freely and countries are not effectively managing the disease burden based on their capacity. New waves of the virus demonstrate again that Covid-19 is nowhere near over. As the virus pushes at us, we must push back”
Subvarients of Omicron like BA.4 and BA.5 have emerged and spread the once-waning virus as governments and people are sick of restrictions and are relaxing precautions. The WHO received data around the world showing a 30% jump in virus infections in the past two weeks, driving hospitalisations and death.
One of the biggest problems causing this rise in infections is pandemic fatigue. People have lost vigilance and are bored of dealing with it. According to the WHO, testing and sequencing have decreased significantly, and vaccination and treatment have become more haphazard.
“Surveillance has reduced significantly – including testing and sequencing – making it increasingly difficult to assess the impact of variants on transmission, disease characteristics, and the effectiveness of counter-measures. This impedes assessments of currently circulating and emerging variants of the virus”
The Covid pandemic is still considered the highest alert the WHO issues, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and the organisation met Friday to discuss it. They warned that with the reduction in testing and prevention around the world, newer, more potent variants can emerge more easily, calling the future of Covid uncertain and unpredictable.
In Europe, coronavirus infections have been ramping up since late May and officials are urging second booster shots for vulnerable groups and the elderly. In Russia, new infections rose by 57% in the capital city of Moscow. China is the only major country still following a zero-tolerance policy on Covid-19 with quarantines and harsh travel restrictions. One single Covid-19 infection was found in Wugang city this week, causing the entire population of 320,000 people to be ordered to stay in their homes until Thursday as a lockdown precaution.
In much of the rest of the world, lockdowns are a thing of the past – thankfully for the economy and fatigued citizens. But this blasé attitude towards Covid may sink the world back into a worsening pandemic.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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