Coronavirus World

Europe the only region in the world where Covid deaths are rising

A farmers' market in Vienna, Austria, where restrictions on movement have now been imposed on the unvaccinated. PHOTO: Flickr/Wolfgang Bayer

Covid-19 deaths in Europe rose by 5% last week, making it the only region in the world where Covid fatalities are rising. The World Health Organisation says that, while infection rates have risen across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, Covid-related deaths in all regions have remained stable or dropped – with the exception of Europe.

According to an AP report, new infections rose by 6% worldwide last week and the global total of Covid-19 deaths rose to 50,000. In its weekly pandemic report, the WHO says that, out of 3.3 million new infections last week, 2.1 million were in Europe. The latest data means Covid-19 infections have been steadily increasing in Europe for 7 consecutive weeks now.

In Western Europe, around 60% of the population is now fully vaccinated, but in Eastern Europe, only around half as many are vaccinated, as governments struggle with widespread vaccine hesitancy. The highest new infection rates are in Russia, Germany, and the UK, while in Norway, deaths from Covid-19 have jumped by 67% and by 38% in Slovakia. According to the WHO, Europe is now the epicentre of the pandemic and the agency warns there could be another 500,000 additional deaths by February if countries don’t take urgent action.

Austria has already introduced strict restrictions on movement for unvaccinated people, while the Netherlands and a number of other countries are once more in lockdown as they try to curtail the spread of infection. Meanwhile, in the UK, the government is rolling out booster doses to everyone over the age of 40.

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SOURCE: The Associated Press (AP)

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.