Global COVID deaths drop to lowest since early pandemic months

Weekly COVID-19 deaths dropped to the bottom stage since March 2020, signaling an encouraging growth that must be seen by means of a cautious lens, the pinnacle of the World Well being Group (WHO) stated yesterday at a briefing.

In US developments, Pfizer/BioNTech has submitted an utility for emergency use of its vaccine for booster doses in kids, because the nation’s circumstances creep upward.

WHO presses international locations to maintain monitoring COVID

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, stated circumstances and deaths proceed to drop, with simply over 15,000 deaths reported to the WHO final week, which he stated is the bottom weekly whole since March 2020.

He stated the welcome information comes with the caveat that international locations are lowering their testing, and the WHO is receiving much less data on transmission and evolution. “However this virus will not go away simply because international locations cease in search of it,” Tedros stated. “It is nonetheless spreading, it is nonetheless altering, and it is nonetheless killing.”

The specter of new variants continues to be very actual, and scientists nonetheless do not perceive the long-term penalties of an infection, he stated, repeating the WHO’s name for international locations to keep up their surveillance actions.

In China, Beijing has completed its first round of mass testing, which focused 20 million individuals and yielded 12 circumstances. Circumstances within the metropolis have been slowly rising, prompting mass testing and fears that residents of the nation’s capital might face a lockdown, just like Shanghai’s—which has been in impact for a couple of month.

About one-third of Beijing’s latest circumstances are from school-related clusters, and officers have began weekly testing for lecturers and college students, in response to the Global Times, an English-language information outlet based mostly in China. One district has suspended in-person courses for main and middle-school college students.

In different world developments:

  • The European Fee as we speak proposed a strategy for transferring away from the emergency part of the pandemic. Key steps embrace growing vaccination and boosting, integrating testing into routine illness surveillance techniques, and sequencing sufficient samples to precisely detect new variants. It additionally consists of investing in well being system restoration, assist for vaccines and coverings, and steps to strengthen world solidarity.
  • Denmark is suspending its mass vaccination effort towards COVID-19, given excessive vaccine uptake and an epidemic that’s beneath management. Danish Health Authority officers stated vaccination continues to be really useful, and individuals are urged to obtain their full vaccine course. Fourth doses are really useful just for these with very weakened immune techniques. They added that the vaccine program will resume within the fall, when infections might enhance once more. In the intervening time, specialists will completely assess vaccine program insurance policies, with a launch of the 2022-2023 plan anticipated earlier than the summer season holidays.

Pfizer submits utility for pediatric booster vaccine

Yesterday, Pfizer stated it has submitted to the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) an utility for emergency use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose in kids ages 5 to 11.

The ten-microgram booster dose could be given 6 months after the first sequence, and knowledge from a part 2/3 trial suggests a powerful immune response from the booster, with no new side effects reported.

The applying comes 1 day after the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) launched new seroprevalence knowledge suggesting that as many as three in 4 kids ages 17 and beneath in the USA has been contaminated with COVID-19, most throughout the Omicron surge.

The 7-day common of recent day by day COVID-19 circumstances is 50,102, with 377 day by day deaths, in response to the Washington Publish tracker. Numbers are ticking upward because the subvariants BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 take maintain throughout the nation.

The CDC’s Nowcast estimates that BA.2 accounts 68.1% of recent COVID-19 circumstances, and BA.2.12.1 accounts for 28.7%.

Regardless of the uptick, White Home Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, told PBS yesterday that he believed the nation is out of the pandemic part.

“We’re actually proper now on this nation out of the pandemic part,” Fauci stated. “Particularly, we do not have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of hundreds of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths. We’re at a low stage proper now.”

He additionally advised the Associated Press that the pandemic is not over and that the USA is in additional of a managed part.

CIDRAP Information reporter Stephanie Soucheray contributed to this story

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