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.


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


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.