A 10-week decline in Covid cases in Europe ended as infections rise, prompting the head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) European branch to implore citizens and decision makers to exercise caution.
Hans Kluge raised concern over the 10% rise in new coronavirus infections in Europe and warned that “there will be a new wave in the WHO European region unless we remained disciplined.”
The WHO leader said that cases have risen due to a combination of the easing of social distancing measures and the restarting of travel.
Along with this, the Delta variant – a highly transmissible Covid strain that is suspected of originating in India – poses a new challenge to European leaders, healthcare systems, and citizens alike.
Kluge further reinforced the importance of vaccination across the continent and how it can decrease the spread of the virus, thus diminishing further hospitalizations and mortality rates. His demand for people to get vaccinated echoes his statement in March that “vaccines present our best way out of this pandemic,” when he slammed the slow rollout of vaccines on the continent as “unacceptable.”
As of June 30, 61% of adults in the EU received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to data from the European Commission. Being fully vaccinated and receiving two doses has been found to be the most effective way of diminishing the chances of being hospitalized or spreading the infection, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.