A physician screens a Covid-19 affected person in the Covid-19 intensive care unit of the group hospital (Klinikum Magdeburg) in Magdeburg, japanese Germany, on April 28, 2021.
RONNY HARTMANN | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON — Europe is going through a worrying resurgence in Covid-19 instances, in line with the WHO’s Dr. Hans Kluge, who warned that the area was once again “at the epicenter of the pandemic.”
Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, which includes 53 nations throughout Europe and central Asia, mentioned the quantity of new every day instances was nearing document ranges.
“Today every single country in Europe and Central Asia is facing a real threat of Covid-19 resurgence, or already fighting it. The current pace across the 53 countries is of grave concern,” he mentioned at a media briefing Thursday.
Last week, with almost 1.8 million new instances and 24,000 new deaths reported, the WHO’s European and central Asia area noticed a 6% enhance in infections and a 12% enhance in fatalities, in comparison with the earlier week, Kluge mentioned.
The area accounted for 59% of all instances globally and 48% of reported deaths final week, he mentioned.
If the area continues on this trajectory, Kluge mentioned one “reliable projection” predicts there may very well be one other 500,000 Covid-related deaths in the area by February 2022 and that 43 nations in the area would face excessive to excessive stress on hospital beds at some level in the identical interval.
“We must change our tactics, from reacting to surges of Covid-19, to preventing them from happening in the first place,” Kluge mentioned.
The two primary causes the WHO’s Kluge gave for Europe’s hovering case numbers have been inadequate vaccination protection and the rest of public well being and social measures.
There have been issues about the growing prevalence of a brand new mutation of the extremely infectious delta variant in addition to sluggish vaccination campaigns, booster vaccination drives and the onset of the winter season the place viruses unfold extra simply with extra folks convening indoors.
The U.K. has seen a sharp rise in cases for several months and cases have started to rise dramatically on mainland Europe in recent weeks, particularly in central and eastern Europe as well as Russia, but also in France and Germany, which have both expressed concern about the increase.
Germany reported almost 34,000 new daily infections on Thursday, breaking a record set in December 2020, Deutsche Welle reported. French health authorities reported 10,050 daily new infections on Wednesday, marking the first time the tally has topped 10,000 since Sept. 14, Reuters reported.
The daily number of deaths caused by the virus remains far below previous peaks in the pandemic, thanks to vaccines, but there are widespread concerns in Europe over lagging vaccination rates and the reduction of any Covid restrictions.
Leading German health officials warned on Wednesday that the country was entering a fourth wave of the pandemic and urged more people to take up Covid vaccines, which are proven to reduce severe infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
Speaking at a joint press conference, German Health Minister Jens Spahn and Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases, said a slowdown in vaccination numbers was a problem, as was the number of unvaccinated people.
“The pandemic is anything but over,” Spahn said, adding that it is now primarily a “pandemic of the unvaccinated — and it is massive,” Deutsche Welle reported.
“If we do not act, this fourth wave will again bring a great deal of suffering. Many people will fall seriously ill and die, and the health services will be under extreme pressure again,” the RKI’s Wieler mentioned.