WHO: COVID-19 deaths drop, but pandemic not over

WHO: COVID-19 deaths drop, but pandemic not over

The number of new coronavirus cases fell everywhere in the world last week by about 12%, according to the World Health Organization's latest weekly review of the pandemic issued Wednesday.

The U.N. health agency reported that there were just under 4.2 million new infections last week and about 13,700 deaths - a 5% drop.

“This is very encouraging, but there is no guarantee these trends will persist,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing. “The most dangerous thing is to assume (that) they will,” he said. He added that even though the number of weekly reported deaths have plummeted more than 80% since February, one person still dies with COVID-19 every 44 seconds and that most of those deaths are avoidable.

In its pandemic report, WHO said COVID-19 deaths dropped in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East, but increased in Africa, the Americas and the Western Pacific.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead on COVID-19, noted that the virus has not yet settled into a seasonal pattern and that its continued evolution will require constant surveillance and possible tweaks to diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

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