Medical Technology

WHO: The number of COVID deaths in Europe could be in excess of 2.2 million by March

GENEVA (Reuters) – – The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that an additional 700,000 people may die from COVID-19 in Europe by March, bringing the total to more than 2.2 million, as it urged people to get vaccinated as well as to receive booster shots.

The WHO estimates that the total number of deaths caused by respiratory disease in Europe’s 53 countries has already exceeded 1.5 million. It also noted that the daily rate of deaths has increased from September to 4,200 per day.

The WHO’s European region encompasses Russia and other former Soviet republics, in addition to Turkey.

According to current trends, “Cumulative reported death are projected to exceed 2.2 million by spring next Year, based upon the current trends,” it stated, noting that COVID-19 is the most prevalent regional cause of death.

The WHO stated that extreme stress or stress levels in intensive care units (ICUs) is possible in 53 of 49 countries as of March 1.

France, Spain and Hungary were among those countries expected to experience extreme stress in ICU usage in early 2022 according to the information provided by the WHO Europe.

The Netherlands started transporting COVID-19 patients across the border into Germany on Tuesday, as the hospital pressures rise and infections jump to record levels. Austria has begun its fourth lockdown on Monday.

According to the WHO, high levels of transmission in Europe are due to a combination of a high number unvaccinated persons and “reduced vaccine-induced protective” (also called the Delta variant) and a relaxation of hygiene precautions.

WHO Europe director Hans Kluge advised people to be vaccinated and also to get a booster dose “if offered”.

WHO officials at the Geneva headquarters have previously advised against COVID-19 vaccine boosters until a greater number of people around the world have received their primary doses. WHO officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether this was an update in the official guidance.

“All of us have the chance and duty to prevent unnecessary tragedy and loss of lives, and limit further disruption to the business and society in this winter time,” said Kluge.

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