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COVID-19 has become 'too clever for us' and can 'break past' our protection, WHO official says

by Jake Epste Busness Insider on July 15, 2022

COVID-19 has become 'too clever for us' and can 'break past' our protection, WHO official says

  • A WHO official said COVID-19 has become "too clever for us" and can evade protection.
  • David Nabarro told Sky News that people should still take precautions against the virus.
  • Daily new COVID-19 cases around the world have steadily climbed since early June. 

COVID-19 has become "too clever for us" and can break through protection, a World Health Organization official said, warning that precautions still matter to fight the virus. 

WHO special envoy David Nabarro told Sky News on Thursday that the reason for a surge in new COVID-19 cases globally is because the virus "changed yet again, and it's become too clever for us."

"This virus is capable of constantly evolving and changing," he told the outlet. "It can break past our immune defenses, and that's why the numbers are going up."

Nabarro told Sky that taking precautions against the virus, like ensuring people are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccination shots, is still important to keep others safe.

"My advice to everyone is please, this virus hasn't gone away, it's not killing so many people, but it is really unpleasant, especially if you get long COVID," he said. "Even though we don't like it, we have to go on respecting this virus."

According to data from the WHO, global daily new COVID-19 cases have slowly climbed since early June — driven mainly by Europe. Data from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows that for the week ending on July 10, there were over 6.25 million global COVID-19 cases.  

The increase in June marked the end of a months-long slide after cases peaked in January when the original Omicron variant ran rampant. Global deaths, meanwhile, climbed to over 12,000 for the week ending on July 10 — though still a figure significantly lower than in previous years of the pandemic. 

The US has also seen a steady rise in cases and is averaging over 124,000 a day, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Driving the surge in cases is the Omicron variant BA.5, which can evade defenses against previous virus variants, Insider's Hilary Brueck previously reported.

People infected in prior COVID-19 waves "really don't have a lot of good protection" against BA.5, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday. 

Fauci added: "Variants will continue to emerge if the virus circulates globally and in this county. We should not let it disrupt our lives, but we cannot deny that it is a reality that we need to deal with."