The World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe has warned that the continent could see a new wave of coronavirus infections by autumn.
The organization’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said in a press conference yesterday that the easing of restrictions in many countries and the increase in travel activity increases the risk of infection with the virus.
These comments come against the background of the outbreak of the “Delta” strain, which was first discovered in India and is considered a fast-spreading one.
“This is happening in a rapidly evolving situation, a new strain of concern, the Delta strain, and in a region where millions are still not vaccinated despite the great efforts of member states,” Kluge said.
He explained that by August, this strain will become dominant in the European region.
Even by then, not all citizens will be vaccinated, so there is a risk of a new wave of infections.
“Delta strain outnumbers alpha strain very rapidly with frequent and multiple emergences, and this is evidenced by the increased mortality and hospitalization rates,” Kluge explained.
He added, “The delay in obtaining the vaccine causes losses in lives and the economy, and whenever the pace of the vaccine slows, other strains will appear.”
In response to a question about the concern related to the recent matches of the European Football Cup, while cases are increasing in the organized cities “London, Baku and Saint Petersburg”, the World Health Organization called on the Europe branch to track fans better, and not only in the stadiums. Hundreds of cases were detected among fans at European Cup matches, especially among Scots returning from London or Finns returning from St. Petersburg, or fans in Copenhagen Stadium, who were found to have a delta mutator.
After 10 weeks, which witnessed a continuous decline in cases, last week the number of injuries increased by 10% in the 53-country Europe region due to the increased mixing, trips and gatherings and the easing of social restrictions.
“This rise is in the context of a rapidly evolving situation, a worrying mutant mutator Delta, and in a region where millions of people are still unvaccinated despite great efforts on the part of member states,” Kluge said.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control predicted that the highly contagious delta mutant will represent 90% of new infections with “Covid-19” in the European Union by the end of August.
For his part, the official in charge of vaccine strategy at the European Medicines Agency, Marco Cavalieri, confirmed during a press conference that “data stemming from realistic evidence show that two doses of a vaccine protect against the delta mutant.”
And another WHO official, Catherine Smallwood, warned that a new wave could occur before autumn.