Geneva: Omicron descendent variant XBB has made India the topmost destination. Besides, COVID-19 has caused more deaths this week than in the previous one, the World Health Organization stated today.
XBB is a recombinant of the BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 sublineages, first reported on August 13, 2022. It has a global prevalence of 3.8% and it has been detected in 70 countries. The World Health Organization today stated that the five countries with the highest prevalence of XBB were India (62.5%), the Dominican Republic (48.2%), Singapore (47.3%), Malaysia (40.9%), and Indonesia (29.3%).
WHO stated that the evolution of Omicron descendent variants continues to show genetic diversification and has resulted in more than 540 descendent lineages, and more than 61 recombinants. BA.5 descendent lineages remain predominant, with a prevalence of 73.7% as of epidemiological week 46 (14 to 20 November 2022), followed by BA.2 descendent lineages, with a prevalence of 10.4%. BA.4 descendent lineages have declined in prevalence, accounting for 2.0% of sequences within the same reporting period. XBB and descendent lineages account for 3.9%, a trend that is rising.
Meanwhile, the number of new weekly deaths due to COVID-19 increased by over 10% during the week of December 5 to 11, 2022, as compared to the previous week, with over 9700 new fatalities reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). The highest numbers of new weekly deaths were reported from the United States of America (2934 new deaths; +62%), Japan (1358 new deaths; +28%), Brazil (603 new deaths; -5%), France (478 new deaths; +4%), and Italy (475 new deaths; -29%).
India reported 1430 new cases (<1 new case per 100 000; -22%) and 30 new deaths (<1 new death per 100 000; +88%) during the week.
.The number of newly reported weekly deaths increased across the following three WHO regions :
- The African Region (+975%; partly due to batch reporting from South Africa)
- The Region of the Americas (+37%), and
- The Eastern Mediterranean Region (+81%).
As of December 11, 2022, over 645 million confirmed cases and over 6.6 million deaths were reported to the WHO globally.
While the global number of new weekly cases remained stable (+2%) during the week of December 5 to 11, 2022, as compared to the previous week, with over 3.3 million new cases reported (Table 1), WHO warned today that current trends in reported COVID-19 cases should be interpreted with caution as several countries have been progressively changing COVID-19 testing strategies, resulting in lower numbers of tests performed and consequently lower numbers of cases detected.
However, COVID-19 prevalence surveys conducted in a number of countries have found that the number of reported COVID-19 cases is an underestimate of the actual number of infections in the population.
However, only some of the descendent lineages continue to increase in prevalence, while others remain at only a few sequence detections. Among the more relevant variant lineages, specific substitutions are accumulating, a genetic pattern referred to as convergent evolution, WHO stated.
– global bihari bureau