Pandemic is not over yet, says Dr. Fauci, and WHO says omicron accounted for 99.7% of all cases sequenced in latest week

A few hours after saying the United States was out of the “pandemic phase,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and one of the leading experts on infectious diseases, clarified that he should have said that the acute phase was over.

“And I understand how this can lead to misinterpretation,” Fauci told NPR.

Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made his original comment during a “PBS NewsHour” interview aired on Tuesday, when he noted that “we don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and dozens , tens and tens of thousands “. of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are now at a low level. ”

But that, he added, did not mean the pandemic was over.

“Pandemic” means a widespread infection that is spreading rapidly among people, “he told PBS. “Therefore, if we look at the global situation, there is no doubt that this pandemic is still ongoing.”

“I don’t think, and I’ve talked extensively, that we won’t eradicate this virus,” he told NewsHour. But he hoped the cases could be kept low.

His comments come as COVID cases rise again in the U.S., driven by omicron variant BA.2 and two new subvariants that appear to be even more infectious. Both, called BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, were recently highlighted by New York State health officials.

The United States has an average of 53,432 cases a day, according to a New York Times tracker, up 59% from two weeks ago. Cases are rising in almost every state and are rising at the fastest rate in Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The country has an average of 13,708 hospitalizations a day, 8% less than two weeks ago, and is still near the lowest level since the first weeks of the pandemic, although they are rising in New England. Hospitalizations have increased by 60% or more in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

See now: How Gilead is positioning Veklury against COVID-19 antivirals like Paxlovid

The daily death toll has fallen below 400 to 355, on average. In general, omicron has been shown to be much milder than previous variants, and while it can break down vaccines and infect even those who have received booster injections, vaccines still offer strong protection against disease. grave and dead.

I’ll see: The CDC study highlights the speed with which the omicron variant infected Americans, and the WHO warns that testing is still crucial.

Children under the age of five in the United States are not yet eligible for a vaccine against Covid-19 after efforts to get vaccines to market have had setbacks. Peter Loftus of WSJ explains what we know about vaccines and when they might be available. Composite photo: Todd Johnson

The World Health Organization said omicron accounted for 99.7% of all cases sequenced worldwide in the past week. The latest data suggest a growth advantage for BA.4, BA.5 and BA.2.12 over BA.2, the agency said in its weekly epidemiological update, although it said more data is needed and that studies continue.

Studies are being carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of various vaccines and booster injections against omicron and its variants, including Pfizer-BioNTech, China-developed Sinvoac-CoronaVac, AstraZeneca AZN,
+ 0.88%

+ 0.48%
one and Johnson & Johnson JNJ,
+ 0.92%
one, said the update.

At the moment, all vaccines seem to offer protection against serious diseases and reinforcements substantially improve the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Few studies, however, have followed the recipients “for six months or more after booster vaccination to assess the longer duration of protection,” the WHO said.

News about coronavirus: MarketWatch’s daily summary has been healing and reporting on all the latest developments every business day since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Other news about COVID-19 you should know:

• Taiwan, which had been living largely free of COVID-19, is now facing its worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic with more than 11,000 new cases reported on Thursday, the Associated Press reported. Cases have risen since the end of March. In April, the island’s central authorities announced that they would stop maintaining a “zero COVID” policy like the Chinese government’s, in which they would quarantine positive cases. Instead, the government is asking people to be quarantined at home if they test positive, unless they show moderate to severe symptoms.

• Beijing closes all schools in the city in a tightening of COVID-19 restrictions as China’s capital seeks to prevent a wider outbreak, the AP reported separately. The city of 21 million has already ordered three rounds of mass testing this week, and the third will arrive on Friday. Beijing registered 50 new cases on Thursday, bringing the current total wave to 150. The aim is to avoid the kind of radical measures imposed in Shanghai, where the highly transmissible omicron variant has broken the city of 25. millions. Restrictions limiting many Shanghai residents to their homes are now in their fourth week and all schools have been online since last month.

Beijing is struggling to test more than 20 million people as residents strive to stock up on food. Jonathan Cheng of the WSJ shows what life is like in the capital and discovers the likely side effects if officials can’t control the rapidly spreading virus. Photo: Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

• Modern Inc. MRNA,
requested authorization for his COVID-19 vaccine for children between 6 months and 6 years of age. The presentation is expected to be completed next week and is divided into two categories: children from 6 months to 2 years, for whom the vaccine has an effective rate of 51%, and children between 2 and 6 years, for whom the efficiency rate was 37%. The series has two planes. Modern said these efficacy rates are similar to the effectiveness of the vaccine in adults against the omicron variant. The news comes a day after Pfizer PFE,
+ 1.58%
and BioNTech BNTX,
said they expect data for their COVID vaccine in young children during the second trimester.

• Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings LH,
said a loss of revenue in the first quarter was due to a decrease in PCR and COVID-19 antibody testing. The company posted net income of $ 491.6 million, or $ 5.23 per share, in the first quarter of 2022, below $ 769.7 million, or $ 7.82 per share, in the same quarter. quarter of a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share were $ 6.11 against a $ 5.98 FactSet consensus. The company had revenue of $ 3.9 billion during the quarter, down from $ 4.1 billion in the same three months last year. The consensus was $ 4 billion.

That’s what the numbers say

The overall number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 exceeded 512 million on Thursday, while the number of deaths exceeded 6.23 million, according to data added by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the world with 81.2 million cases and 992,811 fatalities.

Monitoring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 219.5 million people living in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, equivalent to 66.1% of the total population. But only 100.3 million are promoted, equivalent to 45.7% of the vaccinated population.

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