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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Global Covid-19 Cases Witness 80% Surge Due to Emerging EG.5 Variant

Amid rising concerns over the newly identified EG.5 variant of the novel coronavirus, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals an alarming 80% increase in global Covid-19 cases. The variant, referred to as EG.5 or “Eris,” is linked to an Omicron subvariant called XBB.1.9.2 and is rapidly spreading worldwide, impacting nations like the UK, China, and the US.

In its weekly update, the WHO reports that countries collectively recorded almost 1.5 million new Covid-19 cases between July 10 and August 6, marking an 80% surge compared to the previous 28 days. Despite this increase, the number of deaths saw a notable decline of 57%, totaling 2,500 fatalities.

However, the WHO cautions that the reported figures for cases and deaths may not accurately represent the actual situation due to limited testing and monitoring efforts, especially in comparison to earlier stages of the pandemic. Notably, the Western Pacific region experienced a staggering 137% spike in infections.

Numerous countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Japan, have witnessed an upswing in Covid-19 cases during recent weeks. The highest numbers of new cases during this period were reported in countries such as Korea, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, and Italy. Additionally, the highest numbers of deaths occurred in Brazil, Korea, Russia, Peru, and Australia.

Despite the WHO’s declaration that the international public health emergency related to Covid-19 ended on May 5, 2023, the organization maintains that the virus remains a substantial threat. The WHO urges Member States to uphold their established Covid-19 infrastructure rather than dismantling it.

In India, there has been just one reported case of the EG.5.1 variant, identified in Pune in May 2023. While the WHO categorized EG.5.1 as a variant under monitoring on July 19, experts emphasize that there’s no immediate need for panic.

The EG.5.1 variant, also known as XBB., is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant with two additional spike mutations (Q52H, F456L). Although the term “ERIS” is used for simplicity, the variant appears to have a growth advantage, contributing to an increase in SARS-COV-2 infections in various regions worldwide, according to Dr. Sanjay Pujari, Director of the Institute of Infectious Diseases in Pune.

In recent updates on Covid-19 in India, the country reported 38 new cases in a single day, bringing the active caseload down to 1,487. The death toll reached 5,31,920, as per data from the Union Health Ministry.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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