500,000 people could die of COVID-19 in few months in Europe, WHO warns

2021-11-21 07:54:52
500,000 people could die of COVID-19 in few months in Europe, WHO warns

The World Health Organization has warned that another 500,000 people in Europe could die of Covid-19 in the next few months, unless urgent action is taken.

The WHO’s Europe Director, Dr. Hans Kluge, said he was very worried about a fresh wave of infections that had spread across the continent and led countries to announce new restrictions. He says over half a million people could die from the viral disease by March next year in the Europe.

Austria announced this week that it would become the first country to legally require people to have the vaccines from February. It has the lowest vaccination rate in western Europe and recorded another 15,809 cases on Friday.

The country will go into a full lock-down for the third time on Monday until at least 12 December. Tighter restrictions have also been announced in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Kluge said factors such as the winter season, when there is normally an increase in viral infections, and low vaccine coverage were responsible for the increase in cases. He called for more people to get vaccinated, basic public health measures to be implemented and new treatments to be developed, but said mandatory vaccination should be the last resort.“Covid-19 has become once again the number one cause of mortality in our region,” he told the BBC. “We know what needs to be done” to fight the disease.

Rioting erupted in the Netherlands on Friday in response to new Covid-19 restrictions. Police opened fire on protesters and seven people were injured during a demonstration in Rotterdam.

The German health minister, Jens Spahn, said the situation in the country was a “national emergency” and would not rule out another national lock-down. Christmas markets were canceled in the south-eastern state of Bavaria, which has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Tags: covid europe
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