Holiday gatherings, JN.1 variant fuel Covid-19 spread: WHO
GENEVA — Holiday gatherings and the globally dominant JN.1 variant fueled the spread of Covid-19 across the world in December, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus head of the WHO, said.
Almost 10,000 deaths from Covid-19 were reported to the WHO in December, while hospitalisations rose 42 per cent and ICU admissions jumped 62 per cent over the previous month, Ghebreyesus told a virtual press briefing in Geneva on Wednesday.
The trends are derived from data shared by less than 50 countries, mostly in Europe and the Americas, said the health agency’s Director-General, who believed there are increases in other countries going unreported, Xinhua news agency reported.
Although Covid-19 no longer constitutes a global health emergency, the virus is still circulating, changing and killing, he warned.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead for Covid-19, attributed the increase in respiratory diseases across the globe to the coronavirus, flu, rhinovirus and pneumonia.
“We expect those trends to continue into January through the winter months in the northern hemisphere,” she said.