The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday (November 23) has warned that 700,000 more people could die from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Europe by March 2022, taking the total to above 2.2 million as cases in some of the countries continue to increase. The 53 countries of the WHO’s European regions have already surpassed 1.5 million cumulative deaths from respiratory disease, WHO said.
In a published report, WHO also stated that last week, reported deaths due to the deadly virus increased to close to 4200 a day, doubling from 2100 deaths a day at the end of September.
The world health governing body also said that it is expected that there will be high or extreme stress on hospital beds in 25 countries, and high or extreme stress in intensive care units in 49 out of 53 countries between now and 1 March 2022.
Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe said, “In order to live with this virus and continue our daily lives, we need to take a ‘vaccine plus’ approach. This means getting the standard doses of vaccine, taking a booster if offered, as well as incorporating preventive measures into our normal routines.”
“Taken together, wearing a mask, washing hands, ventilating indoor spaces, keeping physical distance and sneezing into your elbow are simple, effective ways of gaining control over the virus and keeping societies going. All of us have the opportunity and responsibility to help avert unnecessary tragedy and loss of life, and limit further disruption to society and businesses over this winter season,” he added.
WHO also highlighted possible reasons for the surge in cases as the reports mentioned that the European region is “Delta dominant” and the Delta variant of the virus is highly transmissible, with no country reporting more than one per cent of any other variant.
Easing of measures with no caution is another reason for the spread of virus and a large number of people who are still not vaccinated are left vulnerable to the virus.
World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday said Europe is once again the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic amid a “false sense of security” over the protection offered by vaccines.
“In many countries and communities, we are concerned about a false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic, and that people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions,” he said.
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