WHO chief Tedros says we are ‘increasingly blind’ on Covid-19 transmission with less testing

GENEVA (AFP) – A dramatic drop in testing for Covid-19 has left the world blind to the virus’s persevering with rampage and its doubtlessly harmful mutations, the World Health Organisation warned Tuesday (April 26).

The UN well being company mentioned that reported Covid-19 instances and deaths had been dropping dramatically.

“Last week, just over 15,000 deaths were reported to WHO – the lowest weekly total since March 2020,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus instructed reporters.

While that is “a very welcome trend,” he warned that the declining numbers is also a results of important cuts in testing for the virus.

“This makes us increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and evolution,” Tedros mentioned.

“When it comes to a deadly virus, ignorance is not bliss.”

William Rodriguez, who heads the worldwide diagnostics alliance FIND, additionally decried that many governments in current months merely stopped searching for Covid-19 instances.

Speaking on the press convention hosted by WHO, he identified that previously 4 months, amid surging Covid instances from the Omicron variant, “testing rates have plummeted by 70 to 90 per cent worldwide.”

The plunging testing charges got here even supposing there’s now extra entry to correct testing than ever earlier than.

“We have an unprecedented ability to know what is happening,” Rodriguez identified.

“And yet today because testing has been the first casualty of a global decision to let down our guard, we’re becoming blind to what is happening with this virus.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has formally triggered greater than six million deaths for the reason that virus first surfaced in China in late 2019, however the true toll is believed to be at the very least 3 times that top.

While many nations have been eradicating measures and making an attempt to maneuver again to a semblance of normality, the WHO stresses that the pandemic remains to be not over.

“This virus won’t go away just because countries stop looking for it,” Tedros mentioned, declaring that “it is still spreading, it is still changing, and it is still killing.”

He cautioned that “the threat of a dangerous new variant remains very real.”

“And although deaths are declining, we still don’t understand the long-term consequences of infection in those who survive.”

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