AP

WHO: COVID deaths down by 15%, cases fall nearly everywhere

Aug 24, 2022, 8:10 AM | Updated: 9:09 am

A boy talks to his mother from a smartphone during the opening of classes at the San Juan Elementar...

A boy talks to his mother from a smartphone during the opening of classes at the San Juan Elementary School in metro Manila, Philippines on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022. Millions of students wearing face masks streamed back to grade and high schools across the Philippines Monday in their first in-person classes after two years of coronavirus lockdowns that are feared to have worsened one of the world's most alarming illiteracy rates among children. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

GENEVA (AP) — The number of coronavirus deaths reported worldwide fell by 15% in the past week while new infections dropped by 9%, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

In its latest weekly assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. health agency said there were 5.3 million new cases and more than 14,000 deaths reported last week. WHO said the number of new infections declined in every world region except the Western Pacific.

Deaths jumped by more than 183% in Africa but fell by nearly a third in Europe and by 15% in the Americas. Still, WHO warned that COVID-19 numbers are likely severely underestimated as many countries have dropped their testing and surveillance protocols to monitor the virus, meaning that there are far fewer cases being detected.

WHO said the predominant COVID-19 variant worldwide is omicron subvariant BA.5, which accounts for more than 70% of virus sequences shared with the world’s biggest public viral database. Omicron variants account for 99% of all sequences reported in the last month.

Earlier this week, Pfizer asked U.S. regulators to authorize its combination COVID-19 vaccine that adds protection against the newest omicron relatives, BA.4 and BA.5, a key step towards opening a fall booster campaign.

The Food and Drug Administration had ordered vaccine makers to tweak their shots to target BA.4 and BA.5, which are better than ever at dodging immunity from earlier vaccination or infection.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., regulators authorized a version of Moderna’s updated COVID-19 vaccine last week that includes protection against the earlier omicron subvariant BA.1. British officials will offer it to people aged 50 and over beginning next month.

In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Cabinet approved legislation Wednesday that ensures basic protective measures against the coronavirus pandemic are continued during the fall and winter, when more virus cases are expected.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, millions of students wearing face masks streamed back to primary and secondary schools across the country on Monday for their first in-person classes after two years of coronavirus lockdowns.

Officials had grappled with daunting problems, including classroom shortages, lingering COVID-19 fears, an approaching storm and quake-damaged school buildings in the country’s north, to welcome back nearly 28 million students who enrolled for the school year.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

12 hours ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

13 hours ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

2 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

2 days ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

3 days ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

WHO: COVID deaths down by 15%, cases fall nearly everywhere