Covid-19 sitrep, as talk turns to 'end' of pandemic

In the week that US President Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr Anthony Fauchi, said that the US was "transitioning" out of the pandemic phase, and the EU declared an end to its "emergency phase", most regions of the world have indeed continued to report decreasing trends in cases of Covid-19; but the devil is, as ever, in the detail.

Globally, weekly incidence decreased for the fifth consecutive week – down 19% from the previous week to the lowest weekly total since mid-December 2021.

According to analysis (to 27th April) from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Africa’s weekly total increased 32% over the previous week, driven by a surge in South Africa.

Weekly case numbers also increased in the Americas, up 8.7% over the previous week, while the trend in reported global weekly mortality there decreased for a third consecutive week – down 19% from the previous week.

Commenting on the figures, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security stated: “The US CDC is reporting 80.9 million cumulative cases of Covid-19 and 989,408 deaths. The average daily incidence has nearly doubled from the recent low of 24,982 new cases per day on 4th April to 48,692 on 26th April. The daily mortality continues to decline, down to 299 deaths per day – the first day below 300 since 23rd July 2021. Notably, new Covid-19 hospital admissions continue to trend upwards, with an increase of 17.6% over the past week."

Responding to declarations around the 'end of the pandemic', the JHCHS was quick to point out that Covid-19 still constitutes a serious health risk in many parts of the world, as – in addition to statements made in the US and the EU – Mexicos’ government declared that the nation had moved into an endemic stage; and Denmark said its epidemic had "reversed".

"Covid-19 remains a pandemic, constituting a serious health threat in many parts of the world,” the JHCHS stated. “Even as Covid-19-related deaths reach their lowest point since the pandemic began, several Asian nations are experiencing their largest surges to date and countries in Africa – which currently is experiencing an increase in cases – continue efforts to ramp up vaccination programmes. But other countries, particularly in North America and Europe, are taking steps to move beyond an emergency phase, relaxing public health mitigation guidelines and reducing or eliminating Covid-19 funding from budgets. Global health experts note the pandemic is at a critical juncture, as wealthy nations – criticised for not doing enough to help low- and middle-income countries throughout the pandemic – cut back even more."

Covid-19: In numbers

Globally, as of 28th April 2022, there have been 509,531,232 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 6,230,357 deaths, reported to The World Health Organisation. As of 27th April 2022, a total of 11,438,720,838 vaccine doses have been administered.

WHO's live dashboard can be seen here:

UK case numbers, as logged by HM's Government:

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