(NEXSTAR) – The pandemic’s not over yet.
Last week, the World Health Organization reported the highest number of COVID cases in the world in a single week ever, at 5.2 million new cases.
The news comes as half of Americans have received at least the first dose of the COVID vaccine.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of WHO announced the stark findings in a media briefing Monday.
He said deaths rose for the fifth straight week, adding that now more than 3 million people have died from COVID worldwide.
Ghebreyesus also said infections and hospitalizations among those aged 25 to 59 “are increasing at an alarming rate.” It’s possible the uptick is the result of variants and “increased social mixing among younger adults.”
But there is some hope on the horizon. Ghebreyesus said “we have the tools to bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably.”
He cited WHO’s expression of interest in establishing a COVID-19 technology transfer hub for mRNA vaccines, in the hopes that it would increase production of the vaccines in low- and middle-income countries.
“We are calling for the original manufacturers of mRNA vaccines to contribute their technology and know-how to a central hub, and for manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries to express interest in receiving that technology,” Ghebreyesus said.
There have been more than 142,378,883 reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins.