A report by the UN health agency said more than 10 million people were ill with the disease in 2021 - a 4.5% increase on 2020 - and around 1.6 million died.
It added that around 450,000 cases involved people infected with a drug-resistant version - 3% up on 2020.
Dr Mel Spigelman, president of the non-profit TB Alliance, said more than a decade of progress was lost when Covid-19 emerged in 2020 and the WHO also blamed the pandemic saying it “continues to have a damaging impact on access to TB diagnosis and treatment.”
With fewer people being diagnosed with the highly infectious disease, more patients unknowingly spread tuberculosis to others in outbreaks that may not have been spotted in countries with weak health systems.
WHO reported the number of people newly identified with TB fell from 7 million in 2019 to 5.8 million in 2020.
It also said Covid-19 restrictions, including lockdowns and physical distancing, also hampered TB treatment services and may have prompted some people to skip seeking treatment for fear of catching coronavirus.
After Covid19, TB is the world’s deadliest infectious disease. It is caused by bacteria that typically affects the lungs with germs mostly spread person to person in the air through coughs or sneezes.
WHO also said ongoing conflicts in eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East have worsened the options for patients seeking diagnosis and treatment.
Ukraine had one of the world’s worst TB epidemics even before Russia invaded the country in February.
Health experts fear the inability of patients to get treated could fuel the rise of more drug-resistant TB across the region.
While TB patients displaced by the war can seek care in Ukraine, the country has seen a shortage of key medicines and authorities face challenges in keeping track of patients.