WHO says Europe vaccine rollout 'unacceptably slow' amid 'worrying' case surge

WHO says Europe vaccine rollout 'unacceptably slow' amid 'worrying' case surge
  • Clock-gray 17:42
  • calendar-gray 01 April 2021

The World Health Organization has said Europe’s virus situation was “more worrying than we have seen in several months”, APA reports citing Guardian.

AFP reports that the WHO director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said in a statement: “Vaccines present our best way out of this pandemic ... However, the rollout of these vaccines is unacceptably slow” and is “prolonging the pandemic”.

“We must speed up the process by ramping up manufacturing, reducing barriers to administering vaccines, and using every single vial we have in stock, now,” he added.

Five weeks ago, the weekly number of new cases in Europe had dipped to under 1m, but “last week saw increasing transmission of Covid-19 in the majority of countries in the WHO European region, with 1.6 million new cases”, it said.

The total number of deaths in Europe “is fast approaching 1m and the total number of cases about to surpass 45m”, it said.

The WHO’s European region comprises 53 countries and territories and includes Russia and several central Asian nations.

The organisation warned that the rapid spread of the virus could increase the risk of new variants of concern developing.

“The likelihood of new variants of concern occurring increases with the rate at which the virus is replicating and spreading, so curbing transmission through basic disease control actions is crucial,” Dorit Nitzan, WHO Europe’s regional emergency director, said in the statement.

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