A 10-week period of decline in the incidence of COVID-19 in 53 countries of the WHO European Region has come to an end — the number of cases increased by 10 percent last week. The WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge stated, UN News reports.
According to him, the increase in the incidence is driven by increased mixing, travel, gatherings, and easing of social restrictions.
«This is taking place in the context of a rapidly evolving situation — a new variant of concern, the Delta variant — and in a region where despite tremendous efforts by Member States, millions remain unvaccinated», Hans Kluge explained.
Kluge said that the Delta variant overtakes alpha very quickly through multiple and repeated introductions and is already translating into increased hospitalizations and deaths.
«By August, the WHO European Region will be Delta dominant», the expert underscored.
However, by August, Europe will not be sufficiently immunized, with 63 percent of people currently still waiting for their first jab, and the region will still be mostly loosening restrictions, with increasing travel and gatherings, Dr. Kluge warned.
«The three conditions for a new wave of excess hospitalizations and deaths before the autumn are therefore in place: new variants, deficit in vaccine uptake, increased social mixing; and there will be a new wave in the WHO European Region unless we remained disciplined», he said.
Hans Kluge reminded that vaccines are effective against the Delta variant: «not one dose but two doses»,
He added that delays in getting vaccinated cost lives and the economies, and the slower vaccination programmes are, the more variants will emerge.
«We see many countries doing well, but the truth is that the average vaccine coverage in the region is 24 percent only, and more serious, half of our elders and 40 percent of our health care workers are still unprotected. That’s unacceptable», the expert said, explaining that with these figures, the pandemic is nowhere over.
Kyrgyzstan belongs to the WHO European Region.