WHO says second year of pandemic could be tougher

GENEVA, Switzerland (NBC) – The World Health Organization says the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic may be tougher than the first given how the new coronavirus is spreading, especially in the northern hemisphere as more-infectious variants circulate.

WHO Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove said, “With the holidays over the last several weeks, in some countries, the situation will get a lot worse before it gets better. And I think those countries know who they are, and I think those countries are putting systems in place to be able to make sure that they can treat patients, because more cases means more individuals who will need hospitalization, who will need clinical care, who will need ICU beds, and unfortunately, despite great efforts and our ability to provide oxygen and dexamethasone and others, people will die. So, we have to do what we can to prevent as many infections as we can.”

The worldwide death toll is approaching 2 million, with 91.5 million people infected.

The WHO, in its latest epidemiological update issued overnight, said that after two weeks of fewer cases being reported, some 5 million new cases were reported last week.

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