Driving the news: “These increases are occurring despite reductions in testing in some countries, which means the cases we’re seeing are just the tip of the iceberg,” WHO’s head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told reporters, per NBC News.
- The rise in cases has been linked to the new BA.2 subvariant of the omicron variant.
- Lifting public health recommendations and restrictions contributed to the spread, too, the WHO said, according to NBC News.
The bigger picture: COVID-19 cases have started to increase around the world during the last week, triggering lockdowns in Asia and concerns in Europe.
- China has been experiencing its biggest COVID-19 wave since the pandemic started, leading to lockdowns across multiple cities.
- Europe has seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, too, as countries have reopened.
- The United States has been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, fearing that the outbreak there will lead to an outbreak here.
- Sewage water data suggests that the United States might be headed toward another wave of COVID-19 infections, per Bloomberg.
What they’re saying: “Without a doubt, opening up society and having people mingle indoors is clearly something that is a contributor, as well as overall waning immunity, which means we’ve really got to stay heads-up and keep our eye on the pattern here,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN.
- “So that’s the reason why we’re watching this very carefully.”