New wave of Covid-19 imminent – WHO – RT World News
Authorities must act now to avoid disruption and chaos in Europe, health body official says
The new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit Europe and health authorities must act now to mitigate its fallout, the head of the World Health Organization in Europe said on Tuesday.
« Waiting for autumn to act will be too late,said Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, in a statement.
« It is now abundantly clear that we are in a similar situation to last summer – except this time the ongoing Covid-19 wave is being driven by sub-lines of the Omicron variant, notably BA.2 and BA.5, with each dominant sublineage. Omicron lineage showing clear transmission advantages over previously circulating viruses,” he pointed out.
Kluge warned that the increase in hospitalizations will likely accelerate in the fall and winter as schools reopen and tourists return home after the holidays. Another factor is that people will spend more time indoors than they currently do, the WHO official explained.
Kluge also recalled that over the past six weeks, Europe has seen new Covid-19 cases triple. Last week, the continent reported nearly three million new cases, accounting for nearly half of all new cases globally.
Although the WHO regional director noted that intensive care unit admissions have so far remained relatively low, nearly 3,000 people die of Covid-19 every week in Europe.
With that in mind and the not-so-rosy outlook at hand, Kluge urged authorities to step up efforts to mitigate the fallout from the new wave, taking steps to ease the burden on national health systems. In his account, the campaign against Covid-19 can be supported by an increase in the rate of vaccination, the wearing of masks indoors and on public transport, as well as the ventilation of crowded spaces.
« My message to governments and health authorities is to act now to prepare for the months ahead… If health authorities act now, they can help reduce anticipated disruptions to society, including health worker absences and systems. overburdened healthcare, struggling businesses and travel chaos.Kluge reiterated.