The World Health Organization warned on Thursday that Europe is once again becoming the “epicentre” of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic after noting a steady increase in the number of cases across the continent.
At a press conference, WHO Director-General for Europe, Hans KlugeHe confirmed that the region may record half a million additional deaths in the next three months.
The representative of the organization said that the low acceptance of vaccines contributed to the increase in cases.
“First, we must change our tactics and move from responding to COVID-19 waves to preventing them,” he urged.
Reduced vaccination levels and relaxed procedures
The fact is that in recent months the vaccination rate has decreased across the continent. employment Spain, 80% of people were fully vaccinated – with two doses – while taking France and GermanyVaccination reaches 68 and 66% of the population, respectively.
The situation is getting worse in some Central and Eastern European countries, such as RussiaOnly 32% of people were vaccinated at the end of last month.
Kluge also considered that the . file Relaxation measures Public health has contributed to an increase in infections in the WHO’s European region, which includes 53 countries including parts of Central Asia.
So far, the World Health Organization has recorded 1.4 million deaths across the region.
For her part, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical director for covid-19, said cases in Europe rose in the past four weeks by more than 55% despite the “widespread supply of vaccines and the provision of tools” to avoid them.
In turn, Dr. Mike Ryan stated that what is happening in Europe is “A warning shot to the world.”
GermanyFor example, it recorded nearly 34,000 cases in the past 24 hours, a record number of infections.
Lothar Wheeler of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (IRK) – responsible for disease control and prevention – expected a “terrifying” result.
“If we do not take action now to confront it, the fourth wave will bring more suffering,” he warned.
Among the many Germans who have not been vaccinated are More than three million of people over 60 years of age are considered to be at particular risk.
But, as the representative of the World Health Organization pointed out, the increase in cases is not limited to Germany.
UK, Russia, Romania…
employment United kingdomwho transcends 37.000 In everyday situations, concern is focused on the possible effects of the fourth wave of infection: a large number of deaths and the saturation of the health system.
Some of these numbers are already worrying, because in the last day 165 deaths were reported compared to 126 a week ago.
The most dramatic increases in deaths in the past week have occurred in Russiawhere there are more than 8.100 deaths and faithful Ukraine, that I got 3.800 Deaths and 27,377 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours. Both countries have very low vaccination rates.
employment Romania And this week recorded the largest number of deaths in 24 hours with 591 cases, while daily infections doubled in Hungary last week to reach 6,268. In that country, the use of a mask is mandatory only in public transport and hospitals.
“At the moment, it seems we are intent on that to believe That the epidemic is overAnd that we only have to vaccinate a few people. This is not the case,” said Dr. Ryan, who urged countries to reverse the gaps left by their response to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Dutch government said this week that it will reintroduce the use of masks and the social distancing In many public places yet, a 31% increase in hospital admissions was reported in seven days.
LatviaFor its part, it imposed a three-month state of emergency starting Monday amid a record level of coronavirus infections.
CroatiaAnd On the other hand, he scored on Thursday 6.310 New cases, the highest number so far, while NSSlovakia It reported the second highest number of cases. In addition, Czech infections have returned to the levels recorded since the northern spring.
Thinking the pandemic is over is a mistake many people have made, Professor Jonathan Van Tam, Deputy Medical Director for the Government of England, has admitted.
This is even if we consider that in countries with higher vaccination rates, infection rates are still relatively low.
Italy It’s one of them, but new cases there have also increased by 16.6% in the past week.
infection in Portugal They crossed the thousand mark for the first time since September. Spain It is one of the few countries that has not seen an increase in transmission, with 2,287 cases reported on Wednesday.
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