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WHO head ‘very concerned’ about rising COVID deaths ahead of meeting to end—or extend—the global public health emergency

WHO head ‘very concerned’ about rising COVID deaths ahead of meeting to end—or extend—the global public health emergency


The head of the World Health Organization is “very concerned” about the rising number of global COVID deaths, he said Tuesday—mere days before its committee meets to decide whether to end or extend the global public health emergency.

Global COVID deaths have been increasing since December, Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference, adding that in the past eight weeks, 170,000 people have died of COVID.

“That’s just reported deaths,” he said. “The actual number of deaths is much higher.”

The global public health organization’s emergency committee will meet Friday to determine whether to end its COVID emergency status after three years. Ghebreyesus said he would “not pre-empt” the committee but remains “very concerned by the situation in many countries and the rising number of deaths.”

“While clearly we’re in better shape than we were three years ago when the pandemic hit, the global collective response is once again under strain,” he said.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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