By Natalie Williams • 09 November 2021 • 20:17
World Health Organisation warns of “harsh winter” in Europe after a sharp spike in Covid-19 infections. The virus continues to increase in numbers all over Europe. In the past week alone, the region has recorded two million new cases, with an additional 1.5 million deaths from the virus.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said on Tuesday 9, “Europe is the epicentre of the pandemic, with an increase in transmission, hospitalisations and deaths. According to a reliable projection, if we stay on this trajectory, we could see another half a million COVID-19 deaths in Europe by the first of February next year. 43 countries in our Region will face high to extreme stress on hospital beds at some point through the same period”.
According to the statistics from the World health organisation, Europe is back at the point where we were a year ago. However, we now have knowledge on our side. We know that there are certain preventative measures that we can take to help protect ourselves against Coronavirus, irrelevant of the variant.
Hans Kluge claims “We have more tools and means to mitigate and reduce the damage to our communities and society. Extensive vaccination and preventive measures are the only way to alleviate the growing pressure on hospitals and health systems” he added.
The world health organisation regional director called on countries to “intensify their respective vaccination processes, noting that there are currently seven countries with less than 20% of their population fully vaccinated. The current situation and alarming short-term projections should trigger us to act.”
With the change of seasons, we now have the flu season to contend with. The preventative measures that have been applied to stop the transmission of the coronavirus are also the same for the flu. There are also flu vaccines available for those in vulnerable health categories. The WHO urges those who are in an at-risk group to consider getting vaccinated against the flu virus this winter.
Kluge concluded by saying “ultimately, we are only getting out of this pandemic if politicians, scientists and the public work together. We need to stay cautious, act early on any change and stay ahead of the virus”.
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