More than 3.3 mln people have died from coronavirus since early 2021, which exceeds the total death rate in 2020 from HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, according to Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, APA reports citing TASS.
According to him, this data does not include unreported deaths and millions of deaths due to disruption to health services because of the pandemic.
Africa is now facing a fifth wave of the pandemic with the driver being largely the Omicron variant, he noted. According to the official, there is consistent evidence that the Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant, and that there is a higher likelihood that people vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 could become infected once again.
According to him, there is no doubt that during the holidays, a large number of people-to-people contacts will lead to an increase in the number of infections and deaths in many countries, and will overload health systems around the world. In this regard, the Director General called for making difficult decisions to protect people from the disease. In some cases, it means postponing or canceling celebrations, he summed up.
According to WHO, as of December 17, there were 271,963,258 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 5,331,019 deaths around the world.