Docsun Biomed Report on COVID 19 Pandemic in Europe and Central Asia

By: WHO and CDC
 
JHUBEI CITY, Taiwan - Jan. 26, 2022 - PRLog -- As we mark 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and central Asia, we are entering a new phase, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant sweeping the Region, from west to east.

Omicron is displacing Delta with unprecedented speed. Less than 2 months since it was first discovered in South Africa, it now accounts for 31.8% of cases across the European Region, up from 15% the previous week, and 6.3% the week before that.

While Omicron appears to cause much less severe disease than Delta, we are still seeing a rapid rise in hospitalizations, due to the sheer number of infections. This is in addition to a Delta burden that has not entirely passed, and also to the high number of incidental admissions. Fortunately, hospitalizations with Omicron result much less frequently in ICU [intensive care unit] admission. As predicted, most people needing intensive care across the Region are unvaccinated.

But that did not come without the unacceptable human cost we know: every single hour since the pandemic's onset, 99 people in the Region have lost their lives to COVID-19. We mourn the more than 1.7 million people in the European Region who are no longer with us. Gains in poverty reduction have been reversed, with more than 4 million people in the Region now pushed under the US$ 5.50 a day poverty line. Children's education and mental well-being have suffered immensely.

We do appreciate the development and distribution of safe and effective vaccines, with more than 1.4 billion doses administered in the European Region, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Huge advances in medical science and cross-border collaboration have led to no less than 10 different approved vaccines currently rolled out, with more in the pipeline. This is one of the greatest scientific achievements in decades.

Although Omicron offers plausible hope for stabilization and normalization, our work is not done. Huge disparities in access to vaccines remain. If 2021 was the year of vaccine production, 2022 must be the year of vaccine equity in the European Region and beyond. Too many people who need the vaccine remain unvaccinated. This is helping to drive transmission, prolonging the pandemic and increasing the likelihood of new variants.

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Statement by Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe

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