The World Health Organization (WHO) warned in a release on Friday that the COVID risk is still high globally as the virus continues circulating.
However, the organization stated that relatively few countries are following infections closely.
As a result, WHO explained that the actual threat due to the coronavirus and its variants could be anything from two to 19 times higher than reports the organization receives.
The agency’s COVID focal point, Dr Maria Van Kerhove, told journalists in Geneva that data from just 50 countries indicates there are still 10,000 deaths per month due to the virus.
“On the positive side, the numbers of deaths have reduced drastically since its peak a couple of years ago,” the senior official said.
According to the WHO release, among the 10,000 deaths reported in December, more than half were from the United States, with a further 1,000 from Italy.
Dr. Van Kerhove suggested that countries were not recording other deaths.
However, according to the WHO release, she said that doesn’t mean they’re not happening.
She also expressed concern about a steep rise in hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions and warned that these numbers likely increased over the holiday season.
The UN health agency official said that many countries continue to suffer unnecessarily from COVID.
However, she observed that adequate testing, antivirals, appropriate clinical care, oxygen, and vaccination could prevent the problem.