The Strategist

WHO: 33 countries in Europe see over 10% increase in COVID-19 incidence

08/31/2021 - 09:35

So far, 64 million cases and 1.3 million deaths from coronavirus have been reported in Europe. In the past two weeks, there have been reports of an increase of more than 10% in the incidence of the disease from 33 European countries.

Hans Kluge, director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, said at a briefing: "In several countries, the burden on hospitals and the number of deaths are increasing. Last week, the rate grew by 11%. According to one reliable forecast, 236,000 deaths are expected in Europe by Dec. 1," as quoted by the WHO website.

The head of WHO Europe cited a stronger delta strain, looser sanitary restrictions, and a growing number of tourists as factors in the increase in illness.

Although almost half of the European population has now been vaccinated, there has been a decline in vaccination rates over the past six weeks. In some countries, citizens do not have access to the vaccine; in others, anti-vaccination sentiment is strong. 

In France, for example, there were rallies this summer against compulsory vaccination. In low- and lower-middle-income categories, only 6% of citizens are vaccinated.