The World Health Organisation’s regional director for Europe has warned the continent could see a fresh wave of Coronavirus cases by autumn.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Hans Kluge said that loosening restrictions in many countries and increased travel activity were increasing the risk of infection.
After 10 weeks of decline, the number of infected people in Europe rose again by 10 per cent last week.
This is happening against the backdrop of a further spread of the Delta variant, which was first discovered in India and is considered particularly contagious.
“This is taking place in the context of a rapidly evolving situation: a new variant of concern the Delta variant and in a region where, in spite of tremendous efforts by member states, millions remained unvaccinated,’’ Kluge said.
By August, this form would be dominant in the European region, he said. Even by then, the population would not be completely vaccinated. Therefore, there was a risk of a new wave.
“Delta overtakes Alpha very quickly through multiple and repeated introductions, and is already translating into increased hospitalisations and deaths.
“Delays in getting vaccinated cost lives and economies, and the slower we vaccinate, the more variants will emerge,’’ Kluge said.
He appealed to all people who now wanted to attend football matches or were planning a holiday trip to weigh the risks carefully and protect themselves.