World COVID-19 Death Rate Down 90%, WHO Chief Says

Jay Croft

November 09, 2022

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Global deaths due to COVID-19 have dropped almost 90% since February, the head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Last week, 9,400 deaths were reported linked to the coronavirus, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

That's down from 75,000 a week in February.

"We have come a long way, and this is definitely cause for optimism. But we continue to call on all governments, communities, and individuals to remain vigilant," he said at a virtual news conference from the WHO's Geneva headquarters.

"Almost 10,000 deaths a week is 10,000 too many for a disease that can be prevented and treated."

He also said poor countries still lag in vaccinations, and new variants are still a threat.

The Associated Press reported that more than 2.1 million new cases were reported to WHO for the week ending Sunday. That's down 15% from the prior week, and the number of weekly deaths fell 10% compared to the prior week.

So far, WHO has reported 629 million cases around the world and 6.5 million deaths linked to COVID-19.

Surveillance and testing have fallen with case counts, said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on COVID-19. She said the coronavirus outbreak is "still a pandemic, and it's still circulating quite rampantly around the world." 

Japan had the most new cases — more than 400,000, or 42% more than in the previous week.

Sources:

Associated Press: "WHO reports 90% drop in world COVID-19 deaths since February"

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