World

WHO: Europe the only region with rise in Covid-19 last week

PTI London | Updated on October 21, 2021

The US reported the highest number of new cases, more than 580,000, which still represented a 11 per cent decline

The World Health Organization said there was a 7 per cent rise in new coronavirus cases across Europe last week, the only region in the world where cases increased, and uneven vaccine uptake posed a threat to the continent.

In its weekly assessment of the pandemic, the UN health agency said there were about 2.7 million new Covid-19 cases and more than 46,000 deaths last week worldwide, similar to the numbers reported the previous week.

Global variations

WHO said the biggest drop in Covid-19 cases were seen in Africa and the Western Pacific, where infections fell by about 18 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively. The number of deaths in Africa also declined by about a quarter, despite the dire shortage of vaccines on the continent.

The two regions with the highest rates of Covid-19 incidence were Europe and the Americas. Globally, the US reported the highest number of new cases, more than 580,000, which still represented a 11 per cent decline.

Also see: One billion Covid vaccinations: Celebrations spark off across the country

Britain, Russia and Turkey accounted for the most cases in Europe.

For the third consecutive week, coronavirus cases have jumped in Europe, with about 1.3 million new cases. More than half of the countries in the region reported a rise in their Covid-19 numbers, WHO said. Britain and Russia each reported about a 15 per cent increase in new cases.

In a statement on Wednesday, WHO’s Europe office said 1 billion coronavirus vaccines have now been administered across the continent and described uneven vaccine uptake as “the region’s biggest enemy in the fight against Covid-19.”

Russia struggles

In the past week, Russia has repeatedly broken new daily records for Covid-19 cases and the number of infections in the UK has surged to levels not seen since mid-July.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday backed a Cabinet proposal to keep Russian workers home for a week in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

Also see: As deaths rise, Russian doctors despair at low vaccine rate

Russian officials have struggled to vaccinate the population because due to vaccine scepticism, only about 32 per cent of people have been immunized despite the availability of its Sputnik V vaccine. It has the largest virus death toll in Europe, with more than 225,000 deaths.

Although the head of Britain’s National Health Service has urged the government to introduce stricter Covid-19 protocols including mask-wearing and the faster vaccination of children, politicians have so far demurred.

Published on October 21, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like