COVID-19 infections are steadily rising across France, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Greece, and Russia.
According to BBC, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Europe is yet again ‘at the epicentre’ of the global pandemic. During a press conference a few days ago, WHO Europe head Hans Kluge revealed that the continent could see half a million more deaths by February 2022.
Kluge pinpoints this to the insufficient vaccine-take-up across Europe: ‘We must change our tactics, from reacting to surges of Covid-19 to preventing them from happening in the first place,’.
Though countries like Malta and Spain are well vaccinated with a plan for administering booster shots, vaccine rates are as low as 66% in Germany and far lower in certain Eastern European countries.
Kluge also blames the relaxation of public health measures for the increase in infections. At the time of writing, WHO has recorded 1.4 million COVID deaths across Europe.
More recently, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, stated that within the last four weeks, cases across Europe have soared by over 55%.
Last week, Germany recorded over 37,000 daily COVID cases on Friday, a record high. ‘The incidence rate per 100,000 people is now higher than it was in April, at 169,9, but well below the level in the UK’, as per the BBC.
Meanwhile, the most dramatic rise in fatalities resides in Russia, where over 8,100 were recorded last week, and Ukraine (3,800 deaths). Both countries have low rates of vaccination. Other countries experiencing a spike in infections are Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, England, Italy, and Portugal.