GENEVA – The World Health Organization said the number of coronavirus cases in Europe jumped 11% over the past week, the only region in the world where COVID-19 has continued to rise since mid-October.
In its weekly pandemic estimate released on Tuesday, the UN health agency said the number of cases and deaths worldwide rose by about 6%, with about 3.6 million new infections and 51.00 new deaths reported in the previous week. …
WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Kluge, warned that 700,000 more people could die on the continent by spring unless urgent action is taken soon.
“The European region remains in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kluge said, urging countries to increase vaccinations and other control measures such as camouflage and social distancing to avoid “last resort isolation”.
He noted that although more than 1 billion doses of vaccine have been administered in the WHO European Region, which extends to Central Asia, the range of vaccination coverage ranges from 10% to 80%.
Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium have taken stricter measures last week, including a partial lockdown, to try to stem the latest outbreak of the coronavirus. Germany is also set to report over 100,000 COVID-19 deaths this week, and some politicians are now calling for a vaccine like the one ordered in Austria.
Globally, WHO reported that COVID-19 in Southeast Asia and the Middle East decreased by 11% and 9%, respectively.
The largest decline in coronavirus deaths over the past week was seen in Africa, where deaths fell by 30%, continuing the downward trend in COVID-19 that first began in late June.
Although cases in America remained stable, the WHO reported that deaths rose by about 19%.
The agency said the delta variant, which is easier to distribute, remains the predominant version of COVID-19 worldwide. Of the more than 840,000 sequences uploaded to the largest publicly available virus database in the last week, about 99.8% were delta variants.
Other variants, including mu, lambda and gamma, account for less than 1%, although they still represent a significant proportion of sequences from Latin America.
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