Coronavirus digest: The number of COVID cases in Europe increases again, warns WHO | News

Coronavirus digest: The number of COVID cases in Europe increases again, warns WHO | News

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that new cases of COVID were on the rise again in Europe, after more than two months of declining numbers.

“Last week the number of cases increased by 10%, due to increased mixing, travel, gatherings and the easing of social restrictions,” said Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, at a press conference.

Kluge said the increase in cases could be attributed to the fast-spreading delta variant, warning that it could become the dominant variant in Europe by August.

The European disease control agency ECDC also recently estimated that the delta variant could account for 90% of new cases in the EU by the end of August.

Although vaccination campaigns have recently resumed in Europe, Kluge warned that the deployment of the vaccine in the WHO European region was nowhere near where it should be to provide sufficient protection.

“There will be a new wave in the WHO European region if we don’t stay disciplined,” he added.

The director said the average immunization coverage in the WHO European region was only 24%. The region comprises 53 countries and territories, including several countries in Central Asia.

Here is a look at other major developments of the coronavirus around the world.

L’Europe 

In a controversial move, Germany has lifted its travel warnings for more than 80 countries and will no longer advise people against traveling abroad, starting Thursday. These include popular tourist destinations such as Spain, Croatia, and Turkey, among others.

Under the new guidelines, travel warnings will only apply to countries where new variants are spreading rapidly, or places with an incidence rate of 200 cases per 100,000 people in a week. A survey by the YouGov research institute showed that 48% of Germans were against the decision, while 38% supported it.

From Thursday, the European Union COVID Travel Certificate will come into force. The document, which works with a QR code, shows whether a person has received a vaccine, recovered from the virus, or recently tested negative.

The deployment arrives in time for the EU summer travel season. But the fast-spreading delta variant could potentially trigger a drag on its use.


Thailand recorded a record 57 deaths for the second day in a row on Thursday as the country tries to contain a third wave. On the same day, Thailand launched a tourism review program in the island of Phuket, which has seen fewer cases than the mainland.

Vaccinated foreign tourists will now be allowed to travel without quarantine on the island. After 14 days, they will be allowed to travel to the rest of the country.

Friday, Indonesia will launch a tight restrictions measure to control its worst wave, after reporting record daily cases in recent weeks. The restrictions, which include restrictions on movement and air travel, a ban on eating in restaurants and the closure of non-essential offices, will last until July 20.

Strict containment was imposed on Bangladesh from Thursday, when the army and police have been deployed to enforce it. The nation has seen a huge spike in cases, mainly due to the delta variant first discovered in India.

Most offices and shops will be closed and only certain local food markets will be allowed to stay open a few hours a day. “We hope these tough measures will work. We must contain the virus at all costs, ”a health official told AFP news agency.


Health officials have revealed that from Mexico The death toll is probably 60% higher than the official count. Data showed the country has recorded 351,376 additional deaths since the start of the pandemic through May of this year.

The additional deaths recorded by the health ministry are based on a search of death certificates, which showed a 58.5% increase over this period compared to before the pandemic.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday that the cases in Latin America and the Caribbean were on the rise, even as North America saw a decline in numbers.

Vaccination rates in the region are very low, with only one in 10 having been vaccinated. “While we are witnessing some respite from the virus in countries of the northern hemisphere, for most countries in our region, the end remains a distant future,” said PAHO Director Carissa Etienne.


German biopharmaceutical company CureVac’s coronavirus vaccine, known as CVnCoV, was found to be 48% effective in all age groups, according to data from a final study on Wednesday. The number is much lower than those developed by mRNA rivals BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna.

The company said that “the unprecedented background of 15 circulating strains” was partly responsible for the low efficacy. The vaccine is 53% effective against severe disease in 18 to 60 year olds and 77% effective against moderate and severe disease progression.

Scientists believe the disappointing results may be due to the lower dose, or even the recipe for CureVac, which, unlike its rivals, uses an unmodified form of messenger RNA.

wmr, tg/rs (AFP, AP, Reuters)


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