As the world marked its millionth COVID-19 related death this year, the World Health Organisation has cited several reasons behind the surge. Nearly 6.45 million deaths have been reported to the WHO since the virus was first detected in China in late 2019. With multiple sub-variants of the Omicron strain currently affecting people WHO technical lead for COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove said recently that several factors – including severity and transmissibility – much be taken into consideration. “Increased transmissibility obviously means more hospitalisation but till now, it hasn’t been proven that BA.5 can cause more severe diseases than other subvariants. And it is complicated three years into this pandemic when testing is reduced and sequencing is reduced, and that reduces our ability to analyze (the variants) as we don’t have the data that we need,” she was quoted as saying during a recent presser. View More…