Europe is being urged to act ‘immediately’ in the face of a bleak economic outlook.


Europe is being urged to act ‘immediately’ in the face of a bleak economic outlook.

The European Union’s health agency called on member states to “immediately” implement measures to combat the rising number of Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, a day after the WHO Europe warned that 700,000 more people could die on the continent this winter.

According to AFP’s tally, Europe is by far the region now worst struck by the virus, with over 2.5 million infections and nearly 30,000 deaths reported in the last week.

The practice is growing, especially in nations where immunization rates are low.

Sluggish vaccination uptake in several countries, the highly contagious Delta form, colder weather forcing people indoors again, and the loosening of restrictions have all been blamed for Europe’s return to the pandemic’s epicentre.

Furthermore, evidence is mounting that vaccine-induced immunity to infection and mild disease is eroding, prompting requests for booster shots.

Some European countries have already imposed severe controls, while others are on the verge of doing so, prompting demonstrations from individuals who have grown tired of having their lives curtailed during the past year and a half.

The European branch of the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that Covid-19 might kill up to 700,000 more people in Europe and Central Asia by March 2022, on top of the 1.5 million who have already died.

Intensive care units (ICUs) in 49 of the 53 nations that make up the WHO’s European area are projected to experience “high or extreme stress” this winter, according to the WHO.

On Wednesday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said its modeling forecast an equally bleak conclusion unless “rapid” actions were implemented.

“The potential burden of disease from the Delta variant in the EU/EEA will be quite high in December and January unless public health actions are implemented immediately in conjunction with sustained efforts to enhance vaccine uptake in the overall population,” it warned in a statement.

In the EU and the European Economic Area (Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland), only about 70% of the population has been properly vaccinated.

“This creates a big vaccination gap that will be difficult to close quickly, allowing the virus to spread,” the ECDC stated.

“We must work promptly on narrowing this immunity gap, providing booster doses to all adults, and reintroducing non-pharmaceutical methods,” said ECDC head Andrea Ammon.

In the EU as a whole, 67.7% of the population is completely vaccinated, yet vaccination rates vary greatly from country to country.

Bulgarians are only 24.2 percent fully vaccinated, compared to 86.7 percent in Portugal.

All adults over the age of 12 should have Covid booster shots, according to Ammon. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.


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