The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday (Apr 18) warned the COVID-19 pandemic was still volatile, saying there could be further trouble before the virus settles into a predictable pattern.
In the last 28 days, more than 23,000 deaths and three million new cases have been reported to the WHO, in the context of much-reduced testing.
While the numbers are decreasing, “that’s still a lot of people dying and that’s still a lot of people getting sick”, WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a press conference.
He said respiratory viruses do not pass from a pandemic to an endemic phase, but instead move to low levels of activity with potentially seasonal epidemic peaks.
“We don’t turn off a pandemic switch,” said Ryan.
“It’s much more likely that we’re going to see … a bumpy road to a more predictable pattern.”
The WHO’s emergency committee on COVID-19 meets every three months and is due to assemble in early May.