Covid infection rate is approaching highest level ever, WHO chief warns

The head of the World Health Organization said Friday that an alarming rise in Covid cases has pushed global infections toward their highest level in the pandemic.

“Around the world, cases and deaths are continuing to increase at worrying rates,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing focused on Papua New Guinea and the western Pacific.

“Globally, the number of new cases per week has nearly doubled over the past two months. This is approaching the highest rate of infection that we have seen so far during the pandemic,” he continued.

“Some countries that had previously avoided widespread transmission are now seeing steep increases in infections,” Tedros said, citing Papua New Guinea as one example.

Tedros said the United Nations health agency will continue to assess the evolution of the coronavirus crisis and “adjust advice accordingly.”

Under international health regulations, Tedros said, WHO’s emergency committee convened on Thursday, and he expects to receive their advice on Monday.

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