COVID-19: The 7th wave is running out of steam globally
Around the world, the 7th wave of COVID-19 has been disrupting our daily lives for almost three years now seems to be about to run out of steam. In its most recent weekly report, the WHO indicates a decline in infections and deaths.
The WHO report shows an overall drop of 24% in new cases for the week of August 8-14 2022. However “these data should be interpreted with caution, as several countries have made changes to their testing strategy, which may impact the number of tests performed and therefore lead to an undercount of detected cases” warns WHO.
The number of deaths attributable to the disease fell by 6% globally, compared to last week.
Omicron still dominant
In the lab, sequencing studies of the virus reveal that Omicron is still the variant that dominates the dance of the virus. “Omicron is responsible for 99.3% of new infections,” the report details. Between July 15 and August 15, 172,042 sequences were transmitted to GISAID (Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data), an international coalition of researchers. The WHO also specifies that there is now a large pool of subvariants of Omicron “due to successive mutations of the virus”.
And in Quebec?
The situation in Quebec reflects the trend observed worldwide. After reaching a peak on July 15, the 7th wave of COVID-19 has weakened considerably and is now showing a stable low plateau, with around a thousand new cases daily and around 2000 hospitalizations.
< p>Finally, the analysis of wastewater across the province also shows that the 7th wave of COVID-19 is coming to an end. Since June, the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) has published reports evaluating the concentration of viral load present in sewage. This method “aims to provide a real-time signal of the evolution of the epidemic and helps to identify the next waves of COVID-19”, explained the INSPQ. It also makes it possible to more accurately assess the number of asymptomatic cases, which escape regular screening methods.
During a press briefing last Tuesday, Prime Minister François Legault announced a “massive” vaccination campaign. The Department of Health and Human Services plans to vaccinate 300,000 people a week. With the start of the school year and the increase in contacts, Quebec could experience an 8th wave in the fall. The evolution of the epidemiological situation will depend on the robustness of immunity in the face of the potential appearance of new variants.