Infections rise again in Europe after decline

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“Vaccines have been shown to also protect against the Delta variant, but a high level of protection requires two doses.”…reports Asian Lite News.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday said COVID-19 cases were on the rise again in Europe after two months of decline and warned a new wave would come “unless we remain disciplined.”

“There will be a new wave in the WHO European Region unless we remain disciplined. Last week, the number of cases rose by 10 per cent, driven by increased mixing, travel, gatherings and easing of social restrictions,” WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge told at a press conference.

Kluge also cautioned that this reversal came in the context of rising cases of the Delta variant and said that it could become the dominant strain in WHO’s European region, which is made up by 53 countries and territories — including several in Central Asia — by August.

The regional director also highlighted the importance of vaccines and said: “Vaccines have been shown to also protect against the Delta variant, but a high level of protection requires two doses.”

He mentioned that the average vaccine coverage in the WHO’s European region was 24 per cent, and half of the elderly people and 40 per cent of healthcare workers were still unprotected. “That is unacceptable, and that is far from the recommended 80 per cent coverage of the adult population,” he added.

Meanwhile, many member states of the region still report limited drug supply as the main issue in their efforts to battle the pandemic, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) told Sputnik.

According to the agency, the overall numbers of distributed and administered vaccines have been stable over the past weeks and the progress in the vaccination rollout has been steady across the EU. As much as 27 million doses were administered last week, while another 32 million doses were delivered to the EU countries in the same time period, the ECDC noted.

As of June 20, almost 58% of the EU population have received at least one vaccine dose and 35% have been fully immunised, the agency stated.

People wearing masks walk on the Trocadero Place near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (Xinhua/Gao Jing/IANS)

“Nevertheless, quite a few countries still reported that limited vaccine supply remains the main issue they are facing,” the ECDC said, adding that some EU members had had to adjust priority groups or altogether suspend their vaccination programs due to the shortages.

At the same time, more countries have reported that they are no longer facing this issue, as compared to the previous months, the agency said. (ANI/Sputnik/IANS)

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