The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic may be tougher than the first given how the coronavirus is spreading, especially in the northern hemisphere as more infectious variants circulate, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
“We are going into a second year of this, it could even be tougher given the transmission dynamics and some of the issues that we are seeing,” Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency official, said during an event on social media.
The worldwide death toll is approaching two million people since the pandemic began, with 91.5 million people infected.
The WHO, in its latest epidemiological update issued overnight, said after two weeks of fewer cases being reported, some five million new cases were reported last week, the likely result of a letdown of defences during the holiday season in which people — and the virus — came together.
WATCH | WHO delegate to China