Europe to see 'high levels' of Covid this summer: WHO

Published on Jul 01, 2022 06:28 AM IST
  • The WHO urged people experiencing respiratory symptoms to isolate, to stay up to date with their vaccinations and wear masks in crowded places.
After registering around 4,000 to 5,000 deaths per day throughout most of the winter, Europe is currently seeing around 500 deaths per day, about the same level as during the summer of 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
After registering around 4,000 to 5,000 deaths per day throughout most of the winter, Europe is currently seeing around 500 deaths per day, about the same level as during the summer of 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
AFP | , Copenhagen

The World Health Organization said Thursday it expected "high levels" of Covid-19 in Europe this summer and called on countries to monitor the spread as cases tripled in the past month.

"As countries across the European region have lifted the social measures that were previously in place, the virus will transmit at high levels over the summer", WHO Europe regional director Hans Kluge told AFP.

"This virus won't go away just because countries stop looking for it. It's still spreading, it's still changing, and it's still taking lives."

With the milder but more contagious Omicron subvariant BA.5 spreading across the continent, the 53 countries in the WHO European region are currently registering just under 500,000 cases daily, according to the organisation's data.

That is up from around 150,000 cases daily at the end of May.

Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal were the countries with the highest incidence rates, with almost all countries in the region seeing a rise in cases.

After registering around 4,000 to 5,000 deaths per day throughout most of the winter, Europe is currently seeing around 500 deaths per day, about the same level as during the summer of 2020.

"We hope that the strong vaccine programmes most member states have implemented together with prior infection will mean that we avoid the more severe consequences that we saw earlier in the pandemic", Kluge said.

"However, our recommendations remain," he stressed.

The WHO urged people experiencing respiratory symptoms to isolate, to stay up to date with their vaccinations and wear masks in crowded places.

Kluge also urged member states to keep testing for the virus.

"We must keep looking for the virus because not doing so makes us increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and virus evolution," Kluge said.

He also called on countries to increase their vaccination rates.

"High population immunity and the choices made to lower risk to older people is key to preventing further mortality this summer," he said.

map/po/raz

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A health care worker prepares a dose of Imvanex, a vaccine to protect against Monkeypox virus.

    White people get bigger share of monkeypox shots, early data show

    Much like with Covid-19, the monkeypox health crisis in the US is hitting Black and Hispanic Americans hard. Yet those groups are so far lagging in vaccination rates, early data obtained by Bloomberg News show. In some major US cities with outbreaks, White people are getting the majority of vaccinations, data collected by Bloomberg show. In Chicago, 55% of vaccines have gone to White people. In Washington, D.C., 63.5% of vaccine recipients identify as White.

  • Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani was killed in an attack in a seminary in Kabul.

    Top Taliban cleric killed in blast in Kabul: Officials

    A prominent Taliban cleric, Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani, was killed in an attack in a seminary in Kabul when the attacker detonated explosives hidden in a plastic artificial leg on Thursday, according to officials and Taliban sources. It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast. Four Taliban sources told Reuters the attacker was someone who had previously lost his leg and had hidden the explosives in a plastic artificial leg.

  • The Chinese action came less than a month after Beijing blocked a similar joint proposal by India and the US to blacklist Pakistan-based deputy leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba Abdul Rehman Makki. (REUTERS)

    China says it needs more time to assess US, India proposal to blacklist JeM chief’s brother at UNSC

    China on Thursday said it needs more time to “assess” the India-US proposal to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council, hours after blocking the joint effort. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council has clear provisions about designating terrorist organisations and officials. China had similarly sought time to assess the case.

  • Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi speaks during a press conference on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Phnom Penh on August 5, 2022. (AFP)

    China, Nepal agree on cross-Himalayan railway

    China has agreed to finance a feasibility study for a cross-border railway with Nepal under the trans-Himalayan multi-dimensional connectivity network, part of the Belt and Road Initiative and pledged $118 million for China-assisted projects in the country, the foreign ministries of the two countries have said. Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, Wang Yi said China will work with Nepal on power projects and also in building cross Himalayan connectivity projects.

  • File photo of Sri Lanka's then president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    Sri Lanka's ex-leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa leaves Singapore: Report

    Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa left Singapore Thursday, the city-state's immigration office said, after his social visit pass expired. "The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority confirms that Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa left Singapore on 11 August 2022," the office said in reply to an AFP query. Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives on July 13 and then to Singapore, where he announced his resignation after months of protests over Sri Lanka's economic meltdown.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now