WHO Europe warns of possible surge in COVID deaths ahead

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The World Health Organization’s Europe office says estimates suggest there could be 700,000 more deaths in its 53-country region coronavirus pandemic By next spring, 2 million in total.

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WHO Europe, which is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, also cited growing evidence of declining protection against infection and mild disease through vaccines, and called for a “booster dose” to be given to the most vulnerable populations as a priority. Should – that includes people. Weakened immune systems – as well as people over the age of 60 and health care workers.

However, the UN health agency’s international headquarters in Geneva has repeatedly called for a halt to the use of boosters until the end of the year to provide doses for many developing countries that have compared COVID-19 vaccines. faced serious shortages. rich world.

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WHO Europe called on people to respect vaccination and proper hygiene and to practice social distancing to help stop the spread of the virus.

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“Today, the situation of COVID-19 across Europe and Central Asia is very serious. We face a challenging winter ahead, but we should not be without hope, as all of us – governments, health authorities, individuals – can take decisive action to stabilize the pandemic,” said Dr. . Kluge said. a statement.

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The European region, which extends deep into Central Asia, reported that deaths due to COVID-19 rose to nearly 4,200 per day last week – double the levels recorded at the end of September. The cumulative deaths in the region have now reached 1.5 million.

WHO Europe said three factors driving the increase are the highly permeable delta version of the virus, the easing of restrictive measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing requirements in places and large parts of the European population that remain undiagnosed.

A statement from WHO Europe said, “We can expect that 25 countries will have high or extreme stress on hospital beds, and 49 of 53 countries will have high or extreme stress in intensive care units (ICUs).” ” , “Based on current trends, cumulative reported deaths are projected to reach more than 2.2 million by spring next year.”

It said the region could face a cumulative 2 million deaths due to the pandemic by March 1.

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