The Europe regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that another 700,000 COVID-19 deaths could occur over the next four months in a region of 53 countries if vaccination efforts are not stepped up.
In a statement, WHO Europe reported that the region had reported nearly 4,200 deaths from COVID-19 in the past week, more than double the number of daily deaths recorded at the end of September.
The region has surpassed 1.5 million COVID-19 deaths for the pandemic and data compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation for WHO-Europe shows the disease is now the number one cause of death across Europe and Central Asia. reason.
The WHO regional office projects that 25 countries in the region will have high or extreme stress for hospital beds, and between now and March 1, 2022, there will be high or extreme stress in intensive care units in 49 countries. They say that based on current trends, the cumulative reported deaths are projected to reach more than 2.2 million by March.
In the statement, WHO Europe’s regional director Hans Kluge called for a “vaccine plus” approach to allow people in the region to live and continue with their daily lives.
“This means getting the standard dose of the vaccine, taking a booster if offered, as well as adding preventive measures to your normal routine,” he said. Kluge said vaccines, as well as wearing a mask, washing hands, ventilating indoor spaces, maintaining physical distance and sneezing into your elbow, are simple, effective ways to control infection and keep society running.
Meanwhile, the deployment of boosters around the region to push back the rising tide of COVID-19 cases was debated at a meeting of European Union ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.