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Europe turns into epicenter of COVID-19 amid ‘false sense of security’ over vaccines: WHO

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  • Europe has turn out to be the epicentre of the COVID-19 once more amid a “false sense of security” over the safety provided by vaccines, says WHO.
  • Final week, greater than 60% of all reported instances and deaths from COVID-19 globally had been in Europe.
  • WHO officers warn that the SARS-CoV-2 virus would maintain spreading intensely as societies return to the social mixing

GENEVA: Europe has as soon as once more turn out to be the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic amid a “false sense of security” over the safety provided by vaccines, mentioned World Well being Organisation (WHO) Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Wednesday.

WHO officers warned that the SARS-CoV-2 virus would maintain spreading intensely as societies return to the social mixing and mobility of a pre-pandemic interval within the run-up to the year-end holidays.

Final week, greater than 60% of all reported instances and deaths from COVID-19 globally had been in Europe, Tedros instructed a information convention.

“In many countries and communities, we are concerned about a false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic, and that people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions,” he mentioned.

Vaccination, carrying masks and social distancing stay key to halting transmission, WHO officers mentioned.

“We are back to pre-pandemic levels of social mixing (in Europe)… even in the midst of very strong resurgence in cases and even in the midst of some of those countries under high pressure in health systems,” WHO emergency director Mike Ryan mentioned.

“And the reality is the virus will continue to transmit intensely in that environment,” he said.

WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove said that it was important to take measures during the holiday period, adding: “Social measures don’t imply lockdowns.”

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, asked about the European Union’s new recommendation for COVID-19 boosters for people over 40, said that the priority should remain inoculating all adults and the most vulnerable groups first.

“Give attention to the unvaccinated and high-risk teams,” she said.

Tedros voiced hope that a consensus can be found at World Trade Organization ministerial next week for an IP waiver for pandemic vaccines, already supported by more than 100 countries.

He was encouraged about a ‘broad consensus’ being reached on an international agreement on preventing pandemics at his agency’s separate meeting of health ministers from its 194 member states next week.

He stopped short of calling for a “treaty” – as sought by many European Union members and other states but said it should be a “binding pact” to handle future pandemics higher.

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