LONDON — The World Well being Group mentioned Tuesday that coronavirus cases have tripled throughout Europe up to now six weeks, accounting for practically half of all infections globally. Hospitalization charges have additionally doubled, though intensive care admissions have remained low.
In a press release on Tuesday, WHO’s Europe director, Dr. Hans Kluge, described COVID-19 as “a nasty and doubtlessly lethal sickness” that folks shouldn’t underestimate. He mentioned super-infectious kinfolk of the Omicron variant have been driving new waves of illness throughout the continent and that repeat infections may doubtlessly result in Long COVID.
WHO mentioned the 53 international locations in its European area, which stretches to central Asia, reported practically 3 million new coronavirus infections final week and that the virus was killing about 3,000 individuals each week. Globally, COVID-19 circumstances have elevated for the previous 5 weeks, whilst international locations have scaled again on testing.
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“With rising circumstances, we’re additionally seeing an increase in hospitalizations, that are solely set to extend additional within the autumn and winter months,” Kluge mentioned. “This forecast presents an enormous problem to the well being workforce in nation after nation, already underneath monumental strain coping with unrelenting crises since 2020.”
Earlier this week, editors of two British medical journals mentioned the nation’s Nationwide Well being Service has by no means earlier than had so many elements of the system so near collapsing.
Kamran Abbasi of the BMJ and Alastair McLellan of the Well being Service Journal wrote in a joint editorial that the U.Okay. authorities was failing to deal with persistent issues worsened by COVID, together with ambulances lining up outdoors hospitals too overloaded to simply accept new sufferers.
They slammed the federal government’s insistence that vaccines have damaged the hyperlink between infections and hospitalizations. Though vaccines dramatically cut back the possibilities of extreme illness and demise, they haven’t made a big dent on transmission.
“The federal government should cease gaslighting the general public and be trustworthy concerning the menace the pandemic nonetheless poses to them and the Nationwide Well being Service,” the editors wrote.
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WHO launched its fall technique for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The U.N. well being company known as for a second vaccine booster dose for anybody age 5 and up with weak immune programs, selling mask-wearing indoors and on public transportation, and higher air flow in faculties, workplaces and different locations.
Kluge mentioned Southern Hemisphere international locations have been presently experiencing a really lively flu season that, mixed with COVID, was straining well being programs.
“We’re more likely to see an analogous state of affairs within the Northern Hemisphere,” Kluge mentioned, warning that elevated strain may result in enterprise, travel and college chaos.
He urged individuals to make their very own choices, even in international locations the place authorities have largely deserted coronavirus restrictions.
“We’re all conscious of the instruments now we have to maintain ourselves safe, assess our degree of threat and take the required steps to guard others if we get contaminated,” Kluge mentioned. “Simply because a masks isn’t mandated doesn’t imply it’s prohibited.”
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