The World Health Organisation (WHO) says in the past eight weeks, no fewer than 170,000 people have died from COVID-19.
According to him, these are just reported deaths as the actual number of deaths is much higher.
Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General ,said this during online media conference on Wednesday.
“Almost exactly three years on from declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, our highest level of alert.
“This week, the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 will meet to discuss whether the current situation still constitutes a global emergency.
“While I will not preempt the advice of the Emergency Committee, I remain very concerned by the situation in many countries and the rising number of deaths,”Ghebreyesus said.
He said that while the organisation was clearly in better shape than three years ago when the pandemic first hit, the global collective response was once again under strain.
According to him, too few people especially older people and health workers are adequately vaccinated while too many people are behind on their boosters.
Ghebreyesus said that for too many people, antivirals remain expensive and out of reach while too many people don’t receive the right care.
WHO boss said that fragile health systems are struggling to cope with the burden of COVID-19, on top of caring for patients with other diseases including flu and RSV.
He said that surveillance and genetic sequencing had declined dramatically, making it more difficult to track known variants and detect new ones.
“And there is a torrent of pseudo-science and misinformation circulating, which is undermining trust in safe and effective tools for COVID-19.
“My message is clear – do not underestimate this virus.