Supposedly the World Health Organization is the top authority worldwide for public health. One would hope that they base their decisions on empirical data and not beliefs. However, from my perspective, they appear to be treating COVID-19 and influenza differently. In particular, according to their own figures, now COVID-19 is causing fewer deaths worldwide than influenza.
According to, WHO: COVID cases and deaths falling nearly everywhere:
In its latest weekly update on the pandemic, the U.N. health agency said confirmed cases dropped 12% to more than 3 million and reported deaths declined 22% to about 7,600.
That makes it around 1086 deaths per day worldwide. I have found other sources with similar figures.
And according to WHO, up to 650 000 people die of respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu each year
The new figures of 290 000 – 650 000 deaths are based on more recent data from a larger, more diverse group of countries, including lower middle income countries, and exclude deaths from non-respiratory diseases.
The average of that is 470,000, which makes it around 1288 deaths per day.
Now, the first article also states:
Still, he warned that the pandemic was not yet over and urged caution, even as many countries have dropped their coronavirus protocols and segued into trying to live with the virus.
"The perception that the pandemic is over is understandable, but misguided," the WHO chief said. "A new and even more dangerous variant could emerge at any time, and vast numbers of people remain unprotected."
This last statement doesn't seem to clarify anything. A new and more dangerous influenza variant could also emerge, and most people aren't vaccinated for influenza. Also, new COVID-19 variants which appeared after the original were less lethal, not more. Case fatality rates have dropped continuously since the pandemic started, and the latest strain has been far less lethal than the original.
How is this situation different than influenza then? Does the World Health Organization have some objective parameter to determine that COVID-19 is still a pandemic and influenza is not?
Why does the World Health Organization still treat COVID-19 as a pandemic, when according to their own figures it is now causing fewer deaths than influenza?