The only region in Europe where viral deaths are on the rise: WHO

LONDON – According to the World Health Organization, the number of coronavirus deaths in Europe rose 5% last week, making it the only region in the world where COVID-19 deaths increased. The UN health agency said confirmed cases rose 6 percent globally, fueled by increases in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

In its weekly report on the pandemic released late Tuesday, the WHO said the number of COVID-19 deaths in all other parts of Europe remained stable or fell to 50,000 worldwide last week. Of the 3.3 million new infections reported, 2.1 million came from Europe.

It was the seventh consecutive week that COVID-19 cases continued to rise in 61 countries that the WHO is counting on its European territory, which extends through Russia to Central Asia.

Although about 60% of people in Western Europe are fully immunized against COVID-19, only about half have been vaccinated in the eastern part of the continent, where authorities are struggling to overcome widespread vaccine hesitation.

According to the WHO, infections have declined in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia since July.

In Europe, according to the WHO, the highest number of new cases was in Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom. It found an increase of 67% in Norway and 38% in Slovakia.

The Health Agency previously described Europe as the center of an ongoing pandemic and warned that by February there could be another 500,000 deaths if no urgent action is taken on the continent.

Last week, Austria has imposed strict restrictions on the movement of unvaccinated people, the Netherlands and some other European countries have reintroduced restrictive measures to slow down infections, and the UK decided to introduce booster doses to anyone over 40 years of age.

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