WHO director suggests the pandemic could end in Europe soon

The regional director of the WHO thinks it ‘plausible’ that the pandemic in Europe could end soon

Hans Kluge, the regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe, speaking with the French international news agency, AFP this Sunday, January 23, suggested, “It is plausible that the region is approaching the end of the pandemic”.
Kluge based his comment on the fact that, according to WHO estimates, before March, it is thought that 60% of Europeans will have been infected by the Omicron variant of coronavirus. This would give way to a new phase of the pandemic in the region, and could hasten its end. Even so, he called for caution, given the versatility of the virus.
“As soon as the Omicron wave calms down, there will be global immunity for a few weeks and months. This will be either thanks to the vaccines, or because people will have been immunised by the infection, and also a drop due to seasonality”, he suggested.
However, Europe is not in an “endemic era”, he stressed. “Endemic means that we can predict what is going to happen, but this virus has surprised more than once. So we have to be cautious”, he insisted.
At the beginning of January, the WHO assured that more than half of Europeans will be infected with coronavirus due to the expansion of the Omicron variant in the coming weeks.
This was assured by Kluge himself in a press conference. In fact, Europe registered seven million infected with this new strain of the virus – first reported in South Africa – during the first week of January. Despite everything, mortality rates, he noted, remain stable.
“Omicron is highly transmissible. At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington predicts that more than 50% of the region’s population will have been infected with the Omicron variant in the next six to eight weeks”, Kluge explained, as reported by abc.es.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com