WHO fears 236,000 additional COVID-19 deaths in Europe by Dec. 1


Published: 2021-08-30 14:56

Last Updated: 2023-09-30 05:44

Source: Anadolu Agency
Source: Anadolu Agency

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday feared that Covid-19 could kill another 236,000 people in Europe by Dec. 1, expressing concern about stagnant vaccination rates and the low number of vaccinators in poorer countries.

"The number of deaths rose by 11 percent in the region last week - a reliable forecast is that 236,000 people may die in Europe by 1 December," WHO Director-General for Europe Hans Kluge told reporters.

Europe has recorded about 1.3 deaths from Covid so far.

Among the 53 countries classified under the World Health Organization in Europe, 33 countries have recorded an infection rate above 10 percent during the past two weeks, according to Kluge.

Kluge pointed out that the high rates of transmission of infection on the continent are "very worrying, especially in light of the low number of vaccinations among priority population groups in this regard in a number of countries."

He attributed the increased transmission of infection to the outbreak of the most contagious Delta mutant and the "exaggerated easing" of restrictions and measures, in addition to the increase in travel during the summer.

He pointed out that while about half of the European population received full doses of vaccines, the frequency of vaccination decreased in the region.

"The (frequency) decreased during the past six weeks by 14 percent, affected by the lack of access to vaccines in some countries and the lack of acceptance of vaccines in others," he said.

Only six percent of the population of low- and low-to-middle-income countries in Europe received the full dose, while some countries were able to vaccinate only one health worker in ten.

"The stagnation in receiving vaccines in our region is a serious concern," Kluge said, calling on countries to "increase production, share doses and improve access" to them.