COVID-19 still claims one life every four minutes
Weeks after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 not a health emergency anymore, thus officially marking the end of the pandemic that lasted for three years, the disease continues to kill one person every four minutes across the globe, Bloomberg reported. Scientists are still grappling with the question of dealing with the virus, as vulnerable people and under-vaccinated countries remain at risk.
Most government relaxed restrictions before pandemic was officially over
Experts say that the general desire of the global population is to put COVID-19 behind them, and people don't have the patience for preventive measures anymore. During the early stages of the pandemic, governments all over the world spent heavily. However, later on, most governments did away with restrictions and relaxed guidelines even before the WHO announced the end of the pandemic.
Vaccines face the challenge of ever-mutating virus
The report further said that the virus is mutating and evolving continuously, which leaves the elderly and people with comorbidities with uneven access to health facilities. Although Moderna and Pfizer continue to update their vaccines and are trying to make their manufacturing and storage easier, the sense of a reduced risk of COVID-19 also means a fall in investment in vaccines and therapeutics.
Lack of vaccination caused 3 lakh excess deaths in US
COVID-19 is still the third-biggest killer disease in the United States (US), behind heart attacks and cancer. Experts in the country are due to meet in June to pinpoint what strain of the virus the vaccines should target for the rest of the year. The report added that the US saw at least three lakh excess deaths due to the lack of immunization.
Global long-term plan needed to prevent COVID-19
This calls for a long-term plan with a global consensus in the face of polarized discourse around COVID-19, masks, and vaccines. A collective plan can help people and the global economy, as long COVID-19 or the persisting complications due to the disease is expected to affect 10% of the total infected population and cost $50 billion a year in lost salaries in the US.
2 crore COVID-19 deaths around the world so far: Report
On Tuesday, India reported four deaths, including a four-month-old baby in Mumbai. The health ministry's data shows India has recorded around 5.32 lakh COVID-19 deaths so far, with the fatality rate currently at 1.18%. Meanwhile, the WHO's data recorded over 69 lakh deaths around the world due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, while other estimates peg it at two crore.