WHO Says Covid-19 Infections Triple Across Europe, Hospitalisations Double

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday pointed out that the number of coronavirus cases have tripled across Europe in the past six weeks, accounting for nearly half of all infections globally. The rate of hospitalisation has also doubled, although intensive care admissions have remained low so far.

In a statement released on Tuesday, WHO’s Europe Regional director, Dr Hans Kluge, described COVID-19 as “a nasty and potentially deadly illness” that should not be underestimated.

He said super-infectious sub variants of the omicron variant were driving new waves of disease across the continent.

WHO said nearly 53 European countries reported over 3 million new coronavirus cases last week and about 3,000 people die of the virus every week. Globally, the coronavirus cases have increased for the past five weeks, even as countries have reduced testing.

“With rising cases, we’re also seeing a rise in hospitalisations, which are only set to increase further in the autumn and winter months,” Kluge said. “This forecast presents a huge challenge to the health workforce in country after country, already under enormous pressure dealing with unrelenting crises since 2020.”

The WHO also released a Covid-19 strategy for autumn and winter to help European countries prepare for the coming waves of infection.

“Waiting for the autumn to act will be too late,” the WHO European head said.

 The strategy pushes increased vaccine uptake in the general population, a second booster dose for immuno-compromised people, a possible second booster to specific at-risk groups, and the use of face masks indoors and on public transportation. It also urged countries to relaunch mitigation efforts and be ready to respond to an increased burden on their health-care systems.

He further said that the rising number of cases must be urgently tackled. He urged people to make their own decisions, even in countries where authorities have largely abandoned coronavirus restrictions.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

Related Articles