WORLD NEWS

WHO: COVID end ‘in sight,’ deaths at lowest since March 2020

Sep 14, 2022, 7:00 PM
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a medical worker takes a swab sample from a resident ...

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a medical worker takes a swab sample from a resident for nucleic acid test at a community testing site for COVID-19 in Yunyan District of Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou Province, Sept. 5, 2022. In the city of Guiyang, in mountainous southern Guizhou province, a zoo put out a call for help last week, asking for pork, chicken, apples, watermelons, carrots and other produce out of concern they could run out of food for their animals. (Yang Wenbin/Xinhua via AP)

(Yang Wenbin/Xinhua via AP)

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday that the number of coronavirus deaths worldwide last week was the lowest reported in the pandemic since March 2020, marking what could be a turning point in the years-long global outbreak.

At a press briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world has never been in a better position to stop COVID-19.

“We are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” he said, comparing the effort to that made by a marathon runner nearing the finish line. “Now is the worst time to stop running,” he said. “Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap all the rewards of our hard work.”

In its weekly report on the pandemic, the U.N. health agency said deaths fell by 22% in the past week, at just over 11,000 reported worldwide. There were 3.1 million new cases, a drop of 28%, continuing a weeks-long decline in the disease in every part of the world.

Still, the WHO warned that relaxed COVID testing and surveillance in many countries means that many cases are going unnoticed. The agency issued a set of policy briefs for governments to strengthen their efforts against the coronavirus ahead of the expected winter surge of COVID-19, warning that new variants could yet undo the progress made to date.

“If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty,” Tedros said.

The WHO reported that the omicron subvariant BA.5 continues to dominate globally and comprised nearly 90% of virus samples shared with the world’s biggest public database. In recent weeks, regulatory authorities in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere have cleared tweaked vaccines that target both the original coronavirus and later variants including BA.5.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, said the organization expected future waves of the disease, but was hopeful those would not cause many deaths.

Meanwhile in China, residents of a city in the country’s far western Xinjiang region have said they are experiencing hunger, forced quarantines and dwindling supplies of medicine and daily necessities after more than 40 days in a lockdown prompted by COVID-19.

Hundreds of posts from Ghulja riveted users of Chinese social media last week, with residents sharing videos of empty refrigerators, feverish children and people shouting from their windows.

On Monday, local police announced the arrests of six people for “spreading rumors” about the lockdown, including posts about a dead child and an alleged suicide, which they said “incited opposition” and “disrupted social order.”

Leaked directives from government offices show that workers are being ordered to avoid negative information and spread “positive energy” instead. One directed state media to film “smiling seniors” and “children having fun” in neighborhoods emerging from the lockdown.

The government has ordered mass testing and district lockdowns in cities across China in recent weeks, from Sanya on tropical Hainan island to southwest Chengdu, to the northern port city of Dalian.

___

Follow all AP stories on 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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

World News

This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
12 days ago
In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Pres...
Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press. The scope of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in […]
16 days ago
Royal guards stand by the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, as members of the public pay thei...
Associated Press

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral | Live updates

WINDSOR, England — Queen Elizabeth II has been interred together with her late husband, Prince Philip, at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, officials said. The royal family’s official website said the Dean of Windsor conducted a private burial ceremony late Monday at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, an annex inside St. George’s, a […]
19 days ago
Britain's King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort leave after a Service of Prayer and Refle...
Associated Press

Live updates: Queen’s funeral police effort is biggest ever

LONDON — London police say Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday will be the largest single policing event the force has ever handled. Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said Friday that the massive police operation surpasses even the 2012 Olympics, which were held in the British capital, and the celebrations earlier this year […]
22 days ago
Kenya's new president William Ruto signs the book of condolence for Queen Elizabeth II at the resid...
Associated Press

Live updates: Public views queen’s coffin in ancient hall

LONDON — Members of the public who waited outside for many hours are filing through Westminster Hall to pay their respects at the queen’s coffin, which is lying in state there. People are filing past each side of the coffin, most pausing for a brief moment to bow their heads. Some wiped their eyes while […]
24 days ago
The procession with the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, followed by, from left, King Charles III, Pri...
Associated Press

Live updates: King and siblings stand vigil to honor queen

EDINBURGH, Scotland — King Charles III and his siblings have stood in silent vigil around their mother Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. Charles, Princess Anne, Princess Andrew and Prince Edward lowered their heads as they stood at four sides of the oak coffin. They stood for about 10 minutes alongside […]
26 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
WHO: COVID end ‘in sight,’ deaths at lowest since March 2020