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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Is the world moving on from COVID too fast?

On Thursday, April 14th at 19:30GMT:
Many countries are easing COVID protocols, but is this step being taken too soon or is the worst of the pandemic over? The global number of new coronavirus cases has declined sharply, but global deaths are rising, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Earlier this month, Shanghai, China’s commercial hub, came to a halt under strict lockdown as the Omicron edition took over. The city remains closed and there are concerns that the quarantine is causing a hunger crisis.

The new XE version of the virus, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, has now been found in Japan. According to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the subvariant is already infecting one in every thirteen people across the UK – the highest number since April 2020.

In the United States, fewer people are now hospitalized with COVID than at any other point in the pandemic, but the death toll is nearing one million. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended the country’s federal transportation mask mandate by 15 days. Its term was ending on April 18.

The World Health Organization has set a target of 70% immunization for each country and the COVID vaccine supply conflict is generally easing. But in 44 countries, most of them in Africa, less than 20% of the population is fully vaccinated. The WHO has also urged continued testing, saying it is the only way to see how the virus is spreading and evolving.

In this episode, we’ll take a look at some of the latest news about COVID and ask whether the new versions are a cause for concern as pandemic fatigue takes hold.

In this episode of The Stream, we cover:
Dr. Margaret Harris, @drmargareth
Spokesperson, WHO

Ahmed Tawaiz, @twaiji
doctor and journalist

Chris Smith, @naked scientist
Virologist, University of Cambridge

World Nation News Desk
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