WHO gives update on new Covid-19 wave

Lazy eyes listen


July 20, 2022

The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that a new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit Europe, and health officials must act quickly to mitigate the consequences.

“Waiting until autumn to act will be too late,” said Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

“It’s now abundantly clear that we’re in a similar situation to last summer,” he said, “only this time the ongoing Covid-19 wave is being propelled by sub-lineages of the Omicron variant, notably BA.2 and BA.5, with each dominant sub-lineage of Omicron showing clear transmission advantages over previously circulating viruses.”

Kluge predicted that the increase in hospitalizations would likely accelerate in the autumn and winter as schools reopened and tourists returned home from vacation. Another factor, according to the WHO official, is that people will spend more time indoors than they do now.

Kluge also mentioned that the number of new Covid-19 cases in Europe has tripled in the last six weeks. The continent reported nearly three million new cases last week, accounting for nearly half of all new cases worldwide.

Despite the fact that the WHO Regional Director noted that intensive-care unit admissions have remained relatively low thus far, nearly 3,000 people die from Covid-19 in Europe each week.

With this in mind and the less-than-rosy prospects, Kluge urged authorities to step up efforts to mitigate the fallout from the new wave, including measures to reduce the burden on national health-care systems. According to him, the Covid-19 campaign could be aided by increased vaccination rates, mask use indoors and on public transportation, and ventilation of crowded areas.