EUROPE: The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Europe is expected to be “Delta dominant” by August. The organization also added that increased gatherings and easing of social restrictions have ended a 10-week decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases. At an online press conference, the WHO’s Regional Director for Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge said, “Last week, the number of cases rose by 10 percent. 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 the member states, millions remain unvaccinated.”
Kluge noted that the Delta variant is overtaking the Alpha very quickly through multiple and repeated introductions. Along with this, it is already translating into increased hospitalizations and deaths.
Kluge warned that new variants, the deficit in vaccine uptake would cause a new wave of excess hospitalizations and deaths.
To counter the expected upsurge, Kluge again called upon the region to “remain disciplined” and for citizens to take up vaccines when offered.
“Vaccines are effective against the Delta variant. Not one dose but two doses. Delays in getting vaccinated cost lives and economies, and the slower we vaccinate, the more variants will emerge.”
Kluge also lamented the clear disparity in vaccine equality between rich and poor countries in Europe. He also emphasized the vaccine coverage of 24 percent throughout the entire region. “It is far from the recommended 80 percent coverage of the adult population.”