WHO says the Covid pandemic is growing ‘exponentially’

WHO says the Covid pandemic is growing 'exponentially'

April 13, 2021: On Monday, the World Health Organization said the coronavirus pandemic trajectory is now “growing exponentially” at above 4.4 million new Covid-19 cases a week over the last two months.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the agency’s technical lead for Covid-19, said, “we’re at a critical point of the pandemic,” as some countries relieve their restrictions even as new cases each week are above eight times higher than a year ago.

“This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic where we have proven control measures. It is the time right now where everyone has to take stock and have a reality check of what we need to be doing,” she said during a press briefing. “Vaccines and vaccinations are coming online, but they aren’t here yet in every part of the world.”

Covid-19 cases growing by 9% across the globe last week, and deaths jumped 5%, she said, asking governments to support their citizens in implementing pandemic safety measures.

Last month, WHO officials warned of a steady rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths, urging people to stick with mask mandates and social distancing rules as the world enters a critical phase of the pandemic.

The virus is “stronger; it’s faster” with the emergence of new variants that spread more quickly and are even more dangerous than the original wild strain of the virus, Dr. Mike Ryan, the head of the WHO’s emergencies program, said March 31. “We’re all struggling” with and sick of restrictive lockdowns, he said.

In the U.S., B.1.1.7., the highly contagious coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom is now the most common strain circulating, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

Hospitals are also seeing a rise in young people being admitted, she said. Walensky said the U.S. must accelerate its vaccination efforts, which average about 3.1 million shots per day. “We must continue to vaccinate as many Americans as we can each day,” Walensky said, adding it will cause new cases and deaths to decline.

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