The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has permeated fear and restlessness among people for the past three years. Through the years, reports on the COVID cases, deaths, and vaccinations were everywhere to keep people updated. Nowadays that the pandemic is slowly easing, we see less of this, so what is the current situation?
COVID by the Numbers
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest report shows that COVID cases are still high, with the values occasionally rising. As of March 2023, the number of people infected with COVID-19 has reached 761 071 826 confirmed cases comprising 6.8 million deaths. Meanwhile, 13.2 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.
The virus is still present, but the severity varies. For instance, there are several community levels across different territories in the United States (US). Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 2,861 (88.7%) counties with a low community level, 310 (9.6%) have medium community level, and 49 (1.5%) with a high community level. Overall, out of the 52 jurisdictions there were 38 that had medium to high community level counties. Furthermore, the latest report found a 19.7% decrease in the 7-day average of total cases reported in the US, suggesting an improvement in their COVID situation.
Latest Variant Classification
Throughout the years, we’ve seen the virus evolve into different variants, the latest being the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5. This variant is highly transmissible and manifests similar symptoms with the previous Omicron subvariants such as cough, fever, and sore throat. Similarly, this can also cause serious illness in immunocompromised people and the elderly. WHO reports that this variant is present in at least 38 countries but is most prevalent in the US. According to the most recent reports of CDC, over 90.2% of the new confirmed cases were the said variant.
Amidst the improvement in the overall health crisis throughout the years, it’s still crucial that we be cautious of our surroundings and stay protected. Health regulations and social distancing are ways to keep us safe, and we must always follow them. Regarding masks, these are effective as long as they completely cover your face and are comfortable to wear. We must continue to follow the implemented health protocols, practice social distancing, and wear masks where needed.
- “WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, https://covid19.who.int/.
- “Covid Data Tracker Weekly Review.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html.
- Elsayed, Sameer. “What to Know about XBB.1.5, a New and Highly Transmissible COVID-19 Subvariant.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 17 Jan. 2023, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/what-to-know-about-xbb-1-5-a-new-and-highly-transmissible-covid-19-subvariant#:~:text=1.5%2C%20a%20new%20and%20highly%20transmissible%20COVID%2D19%20subvariant,-Health%20Jan%2017&text=Despite%20intensive%20public%20health%20efforts,profoundly%20immune%20system%2Devading%20XBB.
- Ians. “Omicron Subvariant XBB.1.5 Accounts for over 90% New Covid Cases in US.” Business Standard News, Business-Standard, 21 Mar. 2023, https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/omicron-subvariant-xbb-1-5-accounts-for-over-90-new-covid-cases-in-us-123032100047_1.html.