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WHO reports global decline in new COVID-19 cases

In its latest update on the pandemic released on Tuesday, WHO said there were major decreases in cases in two regions: a 22 percent fall in the Middle East and a 16 percent drop in Southeast Asia.

September 22, 2021 / 04:56 PM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters


The number of new COVID-19 cases continued to fall last week, with 3.6 million new cases reported globally, down from 4 million new infections the previous week, the World Health Organization said.


Last week’s drop marked the first substantial decline for more than two months, with falling COVID-19 cases in every world region.


In its latest update on the pandemic released on Tuesday, WHO said there were major decreases in cases in two regions: a 22 percent fall in the Middle East and a 16 percent drop in Southeast Asia.


The U.N. health agency said there were just under 60,000 deaths in the past week, a 7 percent decline. It said that while Southeast Asia reported a 30 percent decrease in COVID-19 deaths, the Western Pacific region reported a 7 percent increase.


The most coronavirus cases were seen in the U.S., India, Britain, Turkey and the Philippines. WHO said the faster-spreading delta variant has now been seen in 185 countries and is present in every part of the world.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The organization also revised its list of “variants of interest,” or those that it believes have the potential to cause big outbreaks; WHO said it’s tracking the lambda and mu variants, which both arose in Latin America but have yet to cause widespread epidemics.


WHO has previously said that in all countries where the delta variant is circulating, it has become the predominant virus.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
Associated Press
first published: Sep 22, 2021 04:56 pm

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