The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised governments to reinforce mask mandates as the Covid-19 pandemic is ‘nowhere near over’.
According to The WHO, Covid-19 cases have increased by 30 per cent in the past two weeks, with sub-variants of Omicron ripping through communities.
"New waves of the virus demonstrate again that Covid-19 is nowhere near over. As the virus pushes at us, we must push back," he said.
He continued: "Sub-variants of Omicron, like BA.4 and BA.5, continue to drive waves of cases, hospitalisation and death around the world.
"Surveillance has reduced significantly, including testing and sequencing, making it increasingly difficult to assess the impact of variants on transmission, disease characteristics, and the effectiveness of counter-measures."
He added: "The virus is running freely and countries are not effectively managing the disease burden based on their capacity,"
Along with face masks, Dr Tedros has advised governments to improve ventilation and enforce stricter test procedures to combat the spike in Covid-19 transmissions.
Despite face masks not being mandatory in non-clinical areas in English hospitals, facilities in the Royal Derby and Chesterfield have brought them back, according to BBC News.
Interim CEO at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton Dr Magnus Harrison told the outlet that with the rising number of cases, it’s essential for people to wear masks, helping to alleviate ‘pressure’ from health services.
He said: “We appreciate this may be disappointing to some, but we will continue to keep our infection control measures under constant review with safety as our main priority.
"While our current level of patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 is not as high as we have seen in previous waves, this still adds significant pressure to our services."
The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) reports that there are estimated to be around 200 patients across Derby, Chesterfield and Burton, a number that has significantly increased since the start of the year.
Most recently, the Mirror reports that Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) expert Susan Michie blasted Tories for not wearing their masks and being complacent regarding the virus.
She also took aim at the UK government for relaxing their policies too soon.
Michie said: “The government’s policy seems to be, ‘Shut your eyes and let it rip.’”
She added: “The more times people are infected, the more likely they are likely to suffer organ damage and Long Covid which can wreck people’s lives and livelihoods, burden the NHS and undermine the economy.”Featured Image Credit: Gerard Ferry / Alamy Live News. Alamy.