Copenhagen: The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that COVID-19 cases are rising again in Europe after two months of decline. The global health body warned that a new wave would come “unless we remain disciplined.”
“There will be a new wave in the WHO European Region unless we remain disciplined. Last week, the number of cases rose by 10 per cent, driven by increased mixing, travel, gatherings and easing of social restrictions,” WHO`s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said at a press conference.
Kluge also cautioned that this reversal came in the context of rising cases of the Delta variant and said that it could become the dominant strain in WHO`s European region, which is made up by 53 countries and territories — including several in Central Asia — by August.
The regional director also highlighted the importance of vaccines and said, “Vaccines have been shown to also protect against the Delta variant, but a high level of protection requires two doses.”
Kluge mentioned that the average vaccine coverage in the WHO`s European region was 24 per cent, and half of the elderly people and 40 per cent of healthcare workers were still unprotected. “That is unacceptable, and that is far from the recommended 80 per cent coverage of the adult population,” he added.
Voicing concern over many countries failing to vaccinate their people, WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called for vaccinating at least 10 per cent of the population of every country by September as he described vaccination as the best way to control the pandemic and reboot the global economy.
“Vast inequities in the access to vaccines are fuelling a two-track pandemic. While some countries have reached a high level of coverage, many others don’t have enough to vaccinate health workers, older people & other at-risk groups,” the World Health Organisation Director General said in a virtual address to India Global Forum.
(With Agency Inputs)