The World Health Organization says an additional 700,000 deaths due to Covid-19 could be expected in Europe by March. That would take the death toll on the continent to 2.2 million.
The WHO attributed high transmission rates in Europe to tens of thousands still remaining unvaccinated, easing of measures such as mask wearing and social distancing, and the prevalence of the Delta variant.
Some 1.5 million Covid deaths have already been recorded in the WHO’s Europe region comprising 53 countries.
The WHO warned of “high or extreme stress” in intensive care units in most of these countries this winter if current trends continue.
The stark warning by the UN health agency comes as cases surge across Europe, with many countries imposing new restrictive measures to contain transmission of the pandemic.
In Poland, the number of new coronavirus infections has exceeded 25,000 for the first time since April. The government warned that restrictions could be reintroduced if infection rates don’t start to fall.
Slovakia, which has the highest per capita infection rise in the world, is on the verge of a short-term lockdown.
The United States is also experiencing a surge in cases. The weekly average of coronvirus cases in the country has risen by 25 percent to 94,335 within a fortnight.
With 92,609 new cases reported on Tuesday, the total number of Covid infections in the U.S. rose to 47,982,843, as per the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
An additional 1,426 Covid deaths on the same day took the total number of people who have died due to the pandemic to 773,857.
Minnesota reported the most number of cases – 11,451 – while Ohio – 127 – reported most Covid deaths.
Covid-related hospitalizations in the United States rose above the 50,000 mark.
38,709,704 people have so far recovered from the disease in the country.
As per the latest data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 195,973,992 people in the United States, or 59 percent of the population, have been fully vaccinated against the deadly virus. This includes 86 percent of people above 65.
36,640,102, or more than 18.7 percent of the population, have so far received booster dose.
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