Very worried about Covid-19 surge in Europe, says WHO

Europe has again become the epicentre of the pandemic, accounting for half of global cases and deaths

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sun 21 Nov 2021, 4:20 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Nov 2021, 4:21 PM

The World Health Organization has said it’s “very worried” by the latest Covid-19 surge in Europe as more countries consider imposing restrictions.

WHO’s regional director Dr Hans Kluge warned there could be 500,000 further deaths from coronavirus by March if immediate action was not taken, the BBC reported.

Europe has again become the epicentre of the pandemic, accounting for half of global cases and deaths.

As cases rise again, several governments have started to reimpose limits on activity, ranging from Austria's full lockdown to a partial lockdown in the Netherlands and restrictions on the unvaccinated in parts of Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The World Health Organisation says coronavirus deaths in Europe rose 5 per cent in the last week, making it the only region in the world where Covid-19 deaths increased.

The UN health agency said confirmed cases jumped 6 per cent globally, driven by increases in the Americas, Europe and Asia.


In its weekly report on the pandemic issued late Tuesday, WHO said Covid-19 deaths in all regions other than Europe remained stable or declined, and totalled 50,000 worldwide last week. Of the 3.3 million new infections reported, 2.1 million came from Europe.

It was the seventh consecutive week that Covid-19 cases continued to mount across the 61 countries that WHO counts in its European region, which stretches through Russia to Central Asia.

While about 60 per cent of people in Western Europe are fully immunised against Covid-19, only about half as many are vaccinated in the eastern part of the continent, where officials are struggling to overcome widespread vaccine hesitancy.

WHO said infections have been falling in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia since July.

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