Home International organisation COVID-19 triples across Europe in past six weeks; hospitalizations double: World Health Organization

COVID-19 triples across Europe in past six weeks; hospitalizations double: World Health Organization

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WHO Director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge described COVID-19 as “an unpleasant and life-threatening disease” that people should not underestimate.

WHO Director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge described COVID-19 as “an unpleasant and life-threatening disease” that people should not underestimate.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on July 19 that coronavirus cases had tripled in Europe in the past six weeks, accounting for nearly half of all infections worldwide. Hospitalization rates also doubled, although intensive care admissions remained low.

In a statement on Tuesday, WHO Director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge described COVID-19 as “an unpleasant and life-threatening disease” that people should not underestimate. He said super-infectious relatives of the omicron variant were driving new waves of disease across the continent and repeated infections could potentially lead to long COVID.

“As cases increase, we are also seeing an increase in hospitalizations, which are only expected to increase further in the fall and winter,” Kluge said. “This forecast presents a huge challenge for health workers in one country after another, already under enormous pressure from relentless crises since 2020.” Earlier this week, the editors of two British medical journals said that at no other time in the country’s National Health Service had so many parts of it come so close to collapse.

The BMJ’s Kamran Abbasi and the Health Service Journal’s Alastair McLellan wrote in a joint op-ed that the UK government was failing to address lingering problems made worse by COVID-19, including the queue for ambulances outside overcrowded hospitals to accept new patients.

They criticized the government’s insistence that vaccines broke the link between infections and hospitalizations. Although vaccines greatly reduce the risk of serious illness and death, they have not significantly reduced transmission.

“The government must stop educating the public and come clean about the threat the pandemic still poses to it and the National Health Service,” the editors wrote.

In the WHO’s fall strategy for COVID-19 released on Tuesday, the UN health agency called for measures including a second booster dose for anyone with a weakened immune system aged five and over. , the promotion of the wearing of masks indoors and on public transport and better ventilation in places including schools and offices.

He said countries in the southern hemisphere were currently experiencing a very active flu season which, combined with COVID, was straining health systems.

Increased efforts needed to bring routine vaccination back to pre-COVID era: World Health Organization

“We will likely see a similar scenario in the northern hemisphere,” Mr Kluge said, warning that increased pressure could lead to chaos in business, travel and school. He urged people to make their own decisions, even in countries where authorities have largely abandoned coronavirus restrictions.

“We are all aware of the tools we have to keep ourselves safe, assess our level of risk and take the necessary steps to protect others if we become infected,” Kluge said. “Just because a mask isn’t mandatory doesn’t mean it’s banned.”