WHO: Over 1m COVID-19 deaths confirmed in Europe

There have been more than 1 million deaths related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Europe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday.

“Last week, we surpassed 1 million confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the WHO European Region.

“The situation in our region is serious: 1.6 million new cases are reported every week. That’s 9,500 every hour, 160 people every minute,” Hans Henri P Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe said.

Kluge said thanks to the roll-out of vaccinations against COVID-19, the number of new infections was falling in those aged over 80, but this was the only group to buck the trend of rising infections.

He was especially concerned by the growing number of hospitalisations which was stretching the health-care systems of some countries to the limit.

Following reports of a few rare blood clots linked to two vaccines, he said the risk of a clot was higher with a COVID-19 infection, therefore, the WHO recommends the continued use of the AstraZeneca jab.

Meanwhile, the WHO said it was monitoring reports about the Johnson & Johnson jab “closely and will communicate its findings in due course”.

He revealed that some 171 million doses of seven different jabs have been administered, meaning almost 13 per cent of the European population have received one dose, and six per cent both required doses.

Kluge was in the Greek capital to open the Athens Quality of Care Office to “serve the needs of the countries of the south-eastern part of the WHO European Region and the Mediterranean basin, focusing on technical assistance, support and leadership on quality of care and patient safety”. (dpa/NAN)