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Maria van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead for coronavirus response, said 4.4 million Covid-19 infections had been recorded across the world last week globally and expressed concern about global trends.
"This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic, where we have proven control measures.
It is time right now where everyone has to have a reality check about what we need to be doing," van Kerkhove told a news briefing Monday.
Several countries in Asia and the Middle East have seen large increases in cases, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that "confusion, complacency and inconsistency in public health measures" were primary drivers.
Ghebreyesus emphasized that public health measures -- mask wearing, physical distancing, ventilation, hand hygiene, surveillance, testing, tracing and isolation -- work to stop infections and save lives.
The country reported 161,736 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a slight dip following six consecutive days of record single-day rises, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian health ministry.
India's total caseload stands at more than 13.5 million -- second only to the United States and Brazil -- including nearly 170,000 fatalities.
Iran, which has the the highest number of cases and deaths in the Middle East, entered its fourth wave of the pandemic last week, the country's health ministry said last week.
In Brazil, coronavirus cases are spiralling out of control; 4,195 people were recorded dead in just 24 hours last Tuesday, the country's deadliest day of the pandemic yet.
But daily numbers are still very grave -- on Friday alone, the state registered over 20,000 new cases.
The new findings clash with separate research that previously suggested the variant may be tied to a higher risk of dying from Covid-19.
Last month, critics warned that Europe's coronavirus restrictions have come too late and that the continents current problems can be traced back to politicians too eager to start easing.
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