Global Covid cases up 80% as new subvariant rises

August 11, 2023

Paris (AFP) – The number of new Covid-19 cases reported worldwide rose by 80 percent in the last month, the World Health Organization said on Friday, days after designating a new "variant of interest". Many of the new cases came in the Western Pacific region, which saw infections jump by 137 percent, the WHO said. More than 17 percent of all reported cases were EG.5 in mid-July, up from 7.6 percent a month before, according to the WHO. "Health authorities urgently need to reinstate a reliable Covid health monitoring system," he said, calling for wastewater to be analysed to detect virus trends. Pharmaceutical firms Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax are all working on updating their Covid vaccines to target XBB subvariants.