We are by no means out of danger, WHO alerts Europe on virus resurgence

WION Web Team
Geneva, Switzerland Published: Jun 10, 2021, 04:56 PM(IST)

People gather on a terrace of a cafe in Marseille, southern France Photograph:( AFP )

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WHO's top official Hans Kluge said that Europe still hasn't achieved sufficient protection against a possible COVID-19 resurgence since at least 80 per cent vaccination coverage of the adult population was required.

As several European nations reopen and allow tourists, the World Health Organization's (WHO) Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe, said that Europe is "by no means out of danger".

"With increasing social gatherings, greater population mobility and large festivals and sports tournaments taking place in the coming days and weeks, WHO Europe calls for caution," the UN health body's top official said.

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Kluge was referring to sports tournaments, namely the French Open which is underway in Paris currently and the mega European football championships set to begin on Saturday which attracts people from across the continent with top teams taking part. The Wimbledon tennis tournament is also set to take place in London next month.

"In six months, more than 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the region. This summer, vaccination needs to happen at a much faster pace," Klunge asserted.

WHO's top official said that Europe still hasn't achieved sufficient protection against a possible COVID-19 resurgence since at least 80 per cent vaccination coverage of the adult population was required.

Kluge said that 30 per cent people in Europe have received at least one vaccine dose and just 17 per cent have completed both doses of the vaccine while cautioning that "we have not come far enough."

European nations began their reopening process last month and further allowed tourists with Greece and Spain set to open their borders for tourists who have been vaccinated. 

France on Wednesday allowed outdoor dining as coronavirus cases showed marked decline and pushed back the nighttime curfew while aiming to end curfews altogether by June 30.

Kluge acknowledged that there was an overall decline in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths for the past two months in Europe but urged countries not to repeat "mistakes".

"Over the course of last summer, cases gradually rose in younger age groups and then moved into older age groups, contributing to a devastating resurgence, lockdowns and loss of life, in the autumn and winter of 2020," WHO's regional director reminded officials in Europe.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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