WHO warns of Covid surge
Europe is likely to be entering yet another wave of Covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have said, urging the region to act immediately.
“Although we are not where we were one year ago, it is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic is still not over,” WHO’s Europe director, Hans Kluge, and ECDC’s director, Andrea Ammon, said in a joint statement on Wednesday. “We are unfortunately seeing indicators rising again in Europe, suggesting that another wave of infections has begun,” they noted.
Health officials said that all the available tools, including vaccination, should be used to protect people, especially the most vulnerable.
“The potential co-circulation of Covid-19 and seasonal influenza will put vulnerable people at increased risk of severe illness and death, with the likelihood of increased pressure on both hospitals and healthcare workers, already exhausted from almost three years on the frontlines of the pandemic,” the statement reads.
According to the authorities, millions of people across Europe have still not been jabbed against Covid-19, whereas “there’s no time to lose.” They stressed it’s necessary to “be ready and act now” and urged people to “come forward as soon as possible for both Covid-19 and influenza vaccination.”
According to WHO’s data, only Europe recorded a rise in the number of infection cases in the last week of September - an 8% rise compared to the previous period.
Last month, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic –which started in 2019– was “in sight.” While the virus is still spreading at the same level as in 2021, despite mass vaccination, deaths have fallen significantly.
According to the organization, since the beginning of the pandemic there have been over 620 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, leading to more than 6.5 million deaths.