COVID-19 cases continue to rise in India but severity is less, says WHO
Geneva/New Delhi: COVID-19 cases continue to rise in India, registering 498 (<1 new death per 100 000; +703%) further COVID-related deaths in 28-days from March 27 to 23 April 2023, the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures revealed today. The total number of new COVID-19 cases during this period was 1,87,842, an increase of 936% over the previous 28-day figures when there were 18,130 new cases, WHO reported.
According to the latest daily updates from India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 7,533 new cases e recorded in the last 24 hours in the country where the daily positivity rate stood at 3.62%. India’s Active caseload currently stands at 53,852 and active cases stand at 0.12%. The recovery rate is currently at 98.69% and there were 11,047 recoveries in the last 24 hours.
The latest WHO figures showed that globally, nearly 2.8 million new cases and over 16 000 deaths were reported in the last 28 days (March 27 to April 23, 2023), a decrease of 23% and 36%, respectively, compared to the previous 28 days (February 27 to March 26, 2023).
Still, at the country level, the United States of America continued to lead the pack with the highest numbers of new 28-day cases and new deaths during this period. The USA registered 383 887 new cases (-43%), and 4765 new deaths (-40%), during this period. After the USA, South Korea reported 3,05,099 new cases (+13%), Russia 224 054 new cases (-33%), Japan 217 420 new cases (-8%), and France (213 732 new cases; +32%).
The countries that followed the USA in terms of highest numbers of new 28-day deaths were Brazil (1298 new deaths; +31%), Russia (995 new deaths; -5%), France (797 new deaths; +35%), and Iran (718 new deaths; +103%).
WHO said it is currently monitoring two variants of interest (VOIs), XBB.1.5 and XBB.1.16, and seven variants under monitoring (VUMs) and their descendent lineages. The VUMs are BA.2.75, CH.1.1, BQ.1, XBB, XBB.1.9.1, XBB.1.9.2 and XBF. On 26 April 2023, XBB.1.9.2 was added to the list of VUMs.
Globally, XBB.1.5 has been reported from 103 countries. In epidemiological week 14 (April 3 to 9, 2023), XBB.1.5 accounted for 45.4% of sequences, a decrease from 49.1% in epidemiological week 10 (March 6 to 12, 2023). XBB.1.16 has been reported from 37 countries. In week 14, XBB.1.16 accounted for 4.3% of sequences, an increase from 1.3% in week 10.
As of 17 April 2023, the majority of the XBB.1.16 sequences are from India (63.4%, 2314 sequences). WHO however stated that the global risk assessment for XBB.1.16 is low as compared to XBB.1.5 and the other currently circulating variants, at this current time and with available evidence. WHO stated that based on its genetic features, immune escape characteristics and growth rate estimates, XBB.1.16 may spread globally and drive an increase in case incidence. It though maintained that from reports from India and other countries, no early signals of increases in severity have been observed.
– global bihari bureau