The World Health Organisation said that the increase in COVID-19 cases in South-East Asia is largely being driven by India, where cases increased by 150 per cent in the last one week.
The head of the World Health Organisation also urged countries to work together to bring the acute phase of the pandemic to an end, saying that they now have all the tools available.
According to the WHO, India reported 15,94,160 new cases in the week that ended on January 23 as compared to 6,38,872 cases it recorded the previous week.
On Monday, India reported 3,06,064 new cases of Covid-19, 8.2 per cent lower than the previous day.
The WHO also said that the Omicron variant of coronavirus has now been reported in 171 countries in the world.
Though the variant has a lower risk of severe disease and death following infection, the overall risk related to Omicron remains very high.
"Despite a lower risk of severe disease and death following infection than previous SARS-CoV-2 variants, the very high levels of transmission nevertheless have resulted in significant increases in hospitalisation, continue to pose overwhelming demands on health care systems in most countries, and may lead to significant morbidity, particularly in vulnerable populations," the WHO said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its third year and we are at a critical juncture,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO chief reiterated that we cannot let it continue to drag on, lurching between panic and neglect.
In the eastern Mediterranean region, the highest numbers of new cases were reported from Morocco (31,701 new cases against 4,610 last week with a 45 per cent increase), Lebanon (45,231 new cases against 38,112 last week with a 19 per cent increase), and Tunisia (13,416 new cases against 3,948 last week with a 194 per cent increase).
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