The coronavirus remains a global health emergency, the World Health Organization chief said Monday, after a key advisory panel found the pandemic may be nearing an “inflexion point” where higher levels of immunity can lower virus-related deaths, the Associated Press reported. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the annual executive board meeting that the world is in a better state now than a year ago, when the omicron variant was at its peak. But he warned that in the last eight weeks, at least 170,000 people have died around the world in connection with the coronavirus. He called for at-risk groups to be fully vaccinated, an increase in testing and early use of antivirals, an expansion of lab networks, and a fight against “misinformation” about the pandemic.
The news comes as the seven-day average of new U.S. cases stood at 46,021 on Sunday, according to a New York Times tracker. That’s down 25% from two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations was down 22% at 33,451. The average for deaths was 521, down 8% from two weeks ago. The global tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped 670.3 million on Monday, while the death toll rose above 6.82 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with 102.3 million cases and 1,107,646 fatalities.