WHO: COVID-19 trio across Europe, Hospitalizations doubled

LONDON – The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the coronavirus cases has tripled across Europe in the past six weeks, accounting for almost half of infections globally. Hospitalization rates also doubled, although intensive care admissions remained low.

In a statement on Tuesday, WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Kluge, described COVID-19 as “an unpleasant and potentially deadly disease” that people should not underestimate. . He said the super-infectious relative of the Omicron variant is driving a new wave of epidemics across the continent and repeat infections could lead to Long COVID.

The WHO said 53 countries in the European region, which stretches to Central Asia, reported nearly 3 million infections of the new coronavirus last week, and the virus kills about 3,000 people a week. Globally, COVID-19 cases have increased over the past five weeks, even as countries have scaled back testing.

Read more: Is it easier to get COVID-19 Outdoors with BA.5?

“With the increase in cases, we are also seeing an increase in hospital admissions, which can only increase in the fall and winter months,” Kluge said. “This forecast presents a tremendous challenge to the health workforce in country after country, which has been under tremendous pressure to deal with non-stop crises since 2020.” .

Earlier this week, the editors of two British medical journals said the country’s National Health Service had never before had so many parts of the system about to collapse.

Kamran Abbasi of BMJ and Alastair McLellan of Health Service Journal wrote in a general editor that the UK government has failed to address the persistent problems caused by COVIDEven the long lines of ambulances outside the hospital were overloaded so they could not accept new patients.

They emphasized the government’s insistence that Vaccine broke the link between infection and hospitalization. Although vaccines significantly reduce the risk of severe illness and death, they do not produce a significant indication of transmission.

“Governments must stop sparking the public and be honest about the threat the pandemic still poses to them and the National Health Service,” the editors wrote.

Read more: Local doctors are now on the Frontline of the COVID-19 Response. It’s not clear They’re ready.

WHO released its fall strategy for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The United Nations health agency called for a second booster dose of the vaccine for anyone aged 5 years or older with a weakened immune system, and encouraged the wearing of masks indoors and on public transport. At the same time better ventilation in schools, offices and other places.

Kluge said Southern Hemisphere countries are currently experiencing a very active flu season that, combined with COVID, has put a strain on health systems.

“We could see a similar scenario in the Northern Hemisphere,” Kluge said, warning that increased pressure could lead to business, traveling and school chaos.

He urged people to make their own decisions, even in countries where authorities have largely dropped coronavirus restrictions.

“We are all aware of the tools we must have to keep ourselves safe, assess our level of risk, and take the necessary steps to protect others if we become infected,” Kluge said. “Just because masks aren’t mandatory doesn’t mean it’s banned.”

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