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People's Daily Online

Global weekly new COVID-19 cases keep rising despite vaccine rollout: WHO

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:31, April 13, 2021

GENEVA, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Even more than 780 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered globally, the world has seen seven consecutive weeks of increasing cases and four weeks of increasing deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday, urging for consistent public health measures alongside equitable vaccination.

"In January and February, the world saw six consecutive weeks of declining cases. We have now seen seven consecutive weeks of increasing cases, and four weeks of increasing deaths. Last week was the fourth-highest number of cases in a single week so far," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing.

Meanwhile, the WHO statistics showed that more than 780 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, yet several countries in Asia and the Middle East have seen large increases in cases.

The WHO chief attributed the recent rise in cases to "confusion, complacency, and inconsistency in public health measures."

"It takes a consistent, coordinated, and comprehensive approach" to stop infections and save lives, he said, highlighting routine public health measures such as physical distancing, wearing masks, hand hygiene, ventilation, surveillance, testing, contact tracing, and isolation.

He added that in some countries, despite continuing transmission, restaurants and nightclubs are full and markets are open, crowded with few people taking precautions.

"This disease is not flu. Young, healthy people have died. And we still don't fully understand the long-term consequences of infection for those who survive," Tedros warned, as many people who have suffered from long-COVID symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness, tremors, insomnia, depression and anxiety.

"This pandemic is a long way from over," and whether or not this pandemic can be controlled in months "comes down to the decisions and the actions that governments and individuals make every day," he said.

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