Europe could see ‘another half a million deaths from Covid-19’ by February, WHO warns


The increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Europe is a “serious concern” and the region could experience half a million more deaths by the start of next year, the World Organization warned on Thursday. health.

With 78 million cases in the WHO European region, which spans 53 countries and territories and includes several Central Asian countries, the cumulative toll now exceeds that of Southeast Asia, the region of the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific and Africa combined, the organization mentioned.

“We are, once again, at the epicenter,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said at a press conference.

Kluge noted that “the current rate of transmission in the 53 countries of the European Region is of great concern”.

According to “a reliable projection”, the current trajectory would mean “another half a million deaths from Covid-19” by February, Kluge added.

The increases were seen “in all age groups,” he said.

Kluge blamed the increase in the number of cases on “insufficient vaccination coverage” and “relaxation of public health and social measures”.

Hospital admission rates were higher in countries with lower vaccination rates, he said.

Measures such as testing, tracing, physical distancing and the use of face masks were still part of the “arsenal” in the fight against the virus.

“We need to change our tactics, to react to outbreaks of Covid-19, to prevent them from happening in the first place,” Kluge said.

The number of new cases per day has been increasing for almost six consecutive weeks in Europe and the number of new deaths per day has been increasing for just over seven consecutive weeks, with around 250,000 cases and 3,600 deaths per day, according to official data from the country. compiled by AFP.

In the past seven days, Russia led the rise with 8,162 deaths, followed by Ukraine with 3,819 deaths and Romania with 3,100 deaths, the data showed.

>> Global Covid-19 death toll exceeds 5 million, with further increase in cases



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