The World Health Organization is “very concerned” with the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in Europe, said WHO European Director Dr. Hans Kluge. In an interview with the BBC, he said that “COVID-19 has once again become the leading cause of death in our region.”
Dr. Hans Kluge, the director of the World Health Organization for Europe, talked to the BBC about the epidemic situation on our continent. He warned that we could see 500,000 more deaths by March, unless urgent measures are taken to contain the epidemic. Kluge explained that making face masks compulsory may help “immediately”.
Dr Kluge explained that factors such as the winter season, insufficient coverage of coronavirus vaccination coverage, and the regional dominance of the more virulent Delta variant were behind the spread of the epidemic.
“COVID-19 has once again become the leading cause of death in our region,” he pointed out, noting that “we know what needs to be done” to combat the disease.
Compulsory vaccinations as a last resort
Kluge explained in an interview that compulsory vaccinations should be seen as a “last resort”, but that “a legal and social debate” would be “very timely”. – Before that, other measures, such as covid passports, could be used – he noted, adding that these do not restrict freedom, but rather are a tool for its preservation.
The WHO chief’s warning to Europe came at a time when several countries announced record-high rates of daily infections and introduced various restrictions.
European countries are fighting the epidemic
The Czech government decided on Thursday that covid certificates will be limited only to certificates of vaccination against COVID-19 or a history of the disease. With some exceptions, negative coronavirus test results will no longer be recognized. The new regulations are to apply until the end of February.
23,680 infections were recorded in the Netherlands on Friday. This country has not experienced such a large daily increase in the number of infections since the outbreak began in this country.
The Slovak government has decided to tighten the restrictions mainly for unvaccinated people. In the country, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the number of those infected on a single day exceeded nine thousand. The Slovak media, informing about Friday’s record indicators, estimate that the country is currently having the worst epidemic situation in the world.
In Austria on Friday, a ten-day anti-epidemic lockdown and compulsory vaccination against COVID-19 were introduced.
In German Saxony, new restrictions will apply from Monday anti-epidemic: all cultural and recreational facilities, libraries, bars, clubs and discos will be closed. The same applies to Christmas markets as well as tourist and hotel facilities. Catering facilities will be able to work until 8 p.m., and customers will be subject to the 2G rule (admission for vaccinated and convalescent people).
In Poland, the government has not yet decided to introduce a lockdown or restrictions on unvaccinated people. The current strategy is to constantly expand the bed base for COVID-19 patients. Health Minister Adam Niedzielski this week admitted that the anti-vaccine movement “is relatively strong”. “Our goal is not to get people out on the streets right now,” he said.
Main photo source: FRIEDEMANN VOGEL / EPA / PAP