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WHO Warns of 700,000 More COVID-19 Deaths in Europe by March

Nov. 24, 2021 — Countries throughout Europe are going through one other surge in coronavirus instances, which may result in one other 700,000 deaths by March 1 if present developments proceed, the WHO announced on Tuesday.

More than 1.5 million individuals have already died from COVID-19 within the 53 international locations that make up the World Health Organization’s European area. That means the demise toll may prime 2.2 million by early 2022.

Europe “remains firmly in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the WHO mentioned, noting that the coronavirus is the main explanation for demise throughout Europe and Central Asia. Between now and March, intensive care items in 49 of the 53 international locations will face “high or extreme stress.”

The WHO reported greater than 2.4 million new instances throughout the area final week, which made up 67% of all COVID-19 instances worldwide throughout that point. Deaths elevated to almost 4,200 per day, doubling the two,100 each day deaths reported on the finish of September.

France reported greater than 30,000 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, marking the primary time since August that the nation had so many instances in 24 hours, in accordance to Reuters. Daily instances are up 54%, in comparison with final week, and the week-over-week enhance has been round 50% for 11 days straight.

“That is a very major increase in the infection rate, which shows that we really are, unfortunately, in a fifth wave of the epidemic,” Olivier Veran, the nation’s well being minister, instructed lawmakers on Tuesday.

Germany additionally set a pandemic report on Monday with a 7-day common of greater than 51,000 each day new instances, in accordance to CNBC. Russia reported a report excessive of greater than 1,200 each day deaths for the week that ended Monday.

The WHO mentioned the most recent wave is being fueled by a number of issues: the extra contagious Delta variant, individuals shifting indoors as a consequence of colder climate, the easing of restrictions, and gradual vaccine uptake in some international locations.

About 53% of the inhabitants is totally vaccinated within the WHO’s European area, however charges range from 10% to greater than 80% throughout international locations. Many jap international locations have decrease charges, with 24% of the inhabitants totally vaccinated in Bulgaria, as in comparison with about 87% in Portugal, 78% in Demark, 71% in Germany, and 65% in Austria.

“As we approach the end of 2021, let’s do everything we can by getting vaccinated and taking personal protective measures to avoid the last resort of lockdowns and school closures,” Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, mentioned within the WHO assertion.

Some international locations are placing strict measures into place once more to include the unfold of the virus, which has sparked protests, in accordance to The New York Times. On Monday, Austria returned to lockdown for not less than 10 days, closing retailers, eating places, and vacation markets. The Netherlands additionally started a partial lockdown through the weekend, and Germany could announce new restrictions this week.

In addition, extra international locations are approving booster pictures for totally vaccinated individuals, together with France, Germany, and Greece, in accordance to the BBC. More proof is exhibiting that vaccine safety is waning and breakthrough instances have gotten extra frequent, based on the WHO, which inspired international locations to approve booster doses for weak teams, well being care employees, and other people over age 60.

Europe and Central Asia face “a challenging winter ahead,” Kluge mentioned. He referred to as for a “vaccine plus” strategy, which incorporates getting vaccinated, following bodily distancing tips, and carrying masks.

Face masks scale back coronavirus transmission by 53%, the WHO mentioned, which may stop greater than 160,000 deaths by March 1.

The U.S. State Department has responded to the European surge by including Denmark and Germany to its “Do Not Travel” checklist, which is the highest-risk class for journey, in accordance to The Washington Post.

The Level 4 designation signifies that each the CDC and State Department advocate towards touring to these international locations, even when persons are vaccinated. Other European international locations had been added to the Level 4 checklist final week, together with the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Iceland.

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