The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Reduced testing is concerning, WHO official says

A cotton swab from a coronavirus self-test kit, arranged in Danbury, U.K. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

This live coverage has ended. For the latest coronavirus news, click here.

A World Health Organization official on Tuesday expressed concern about reduced testing and surveillance of the coronavirus in countries around the world, saying monitoring remains critical.

“We need to be strategic about this, but we cannot abandon it,” said WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove during an online question-and-answer session. “And what we do not want to see is the dismantling of these surveillance systems that have been put in place for covid-19.”

Although global infections have fallen about 20 percent this week compared with last week, she said the decline “may not be real,” because of the reduction in testing. Van Kerkhove had the same caveat about deaths — about 68,000 deaths were reported last week, representing a slight decline, but WHO officials have questions about some of the reporting.  

Here’s what to know

Press Enter to skip to end of carousel

Here's what to know:

Canada’s legislature on Monday affirmed the use of the special emergency powers invoked last week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has warned that the self-styled “Freedom Convoy” protesters who mostly left Ottawa this past weekend may reposition and organize new blockades elsewhere.
As crucial parts of the U.S. workforce continue to be strained by the omicron variant, National Guard members in some states are now filling in as health-care workers, teachers, janitors and more.
Parents of children younger than 5 say they feel forgotten and left behind, as the wait for a coronavirus vaccine for that age group drags on. Federal health agencies this month delayed authorizing and recommending immunization of young children until more data on the vaccine’s efficacy is collected.


End of carousel

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Where do things stand? See the latest covid numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people.

The state of public health: Conservative and libertarian forces have defanged much of the nation’s public health system through legislation and litigation as the world staggers into the fourth year of covid.

Grief and the pandemic: A Washington Post reporter covered the coronavirus — and then endured the death of her mother from covid-19. She offers a window into grief and resilience.

Would we shut down again? What will the United States do the next time a deadly virus comes knocking on the door?

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

For the latest news, sign up for our free newsletter.