Copenhagen: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said COVID-19 cases were on the rise again in Europe after two months of decline and warned a new wave would come "unless we remain disciplined."
"There will be a new wave in the WHO European Region unless we remain disciplined. Last week, the number of cases rose by 10 per cent, driven by increased mixing, travel, gatherings and easing of social restrictions," WHO's regional director for Europe Hans Kluge told at a press conference. Kluge also cautioned that this reversal came in the context of rising cases of the Delta variant and said that it could become the dominant strain in WHO's European region, which is made up by 53 countries and territories -- including several in Central Asia -- by August.
The regional director also highlighted the importance of vaccines and said: "Vaccines have been shown to also protect against the Delta variant, but a high level of protection requires two doses."
He mentioned that the average vaccine coverage in the WHO's European region was 24 per cent, and half of the elderly people and 40 per cent of healthcare workers were still unprotected. "That is unacceptable, and that is far from the recommended 80 per cent coverage of the adult population," he added.