WHO says end of pandemic still ‘over the horizon’ in Europe

Copenhagen, Aug 2 (EFE).- Despite high vaccination rates compared to other regions, Europe is still not over the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization warned Monday, as vaccination campaigns slow down across the continent and the Delta variant fuels a new wave of infections.

“The end of the pandemic is still over the horizon,” said WHO Regional Emergency Director for Europe Dorit Nitzan. “It is important that countries continue their combined efforts to protect their most vulnerable people and those at risk.”

Nitzan stressed that vaccination uptake varies widely across European nations, and that coverage in a few countries is still low for priority population groups like people over 60 years old, health care workers or those with underlying conditions.

“For the pandemic to end we must rapidly scale up vaccinations equitably in all countries,” she said. “In addition, we must continue to follow public health and social measures including testing, sequencing, tracing, isolation and quarantine.”

The WHO warned against individual tourists lowering their guard, reminding that “travel is not risk free,” as it can increase possibilities of travelers “getting and spreading Covid-19.”

The number of Covid-19 cases in the continent has surpassed 60 million since the pandemic began and there have been more than 1.2 million Covid-19 deaths according to WHO data.

The region’s 53 countries have recorded the second highest number of infections in the world, only behind the Americas’ 77 million cases. EFE


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