When addressing the drop in COVID-19 testing rates in a live stream, the World Health Organization stressed that the “bigger concern right now…is the still increasing number of deaths."

The government agency’s technical lead on COVID Maria Van Kerkhove said Wednesday that “in the last week alone, almost 75,000 people died reported to us and we know that that is an underestimate."

Earlier this month, ​​WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan explained that additional variants are approaching and that the pandemic is not quite over yet. “We have seen the virus evolve, mutate ... so we know there will be more variants, more variants of concern,” Swaminathan said. “We are not at the end of the pandemic."

WHO emergencies chief Mike Ryan said that it is likely that testing rates have plummeted in countries that are reporting fewer COVID infections, as reported by Reuters.

Many countries around the world, as well as states nationwide, have begun to ease COVID restrictions such as mandatory mask-wearing. Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has called states’ decisions to relieve mask mandates “entirely understandable.” However, caution is still something that he has warned needs to be used to prevent future surges.