WHO Europe Urges Countries to Maintain COVID-19 Surveillance as Cases Increase COVID-19 16/08/2023 • Kerry Cullinan Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. Dr Hans Kluge, regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe, has warned member countries to maintain their COVID-19 infrastructure and genomic surveillance amid a “gradual increase in cases, including hospitalizations, in some European countries”. “COVID has not gone away. While its impact currently isn’t as severe as earlier, millions, especially the most vulnerable, remain unprotected in the WHO Europe Region. Worryingly, barely 11% of people across Europe & Central Asia have gotten their second booster shot,” Kluge noted in a media release. We’re seeing a gradual⬆️in #COVID19 cases, including hospitalizations, in some European countries. The likely reason: EG.5, the new variant of interest.@WHO_Europe once again urges countries to maintain & strengthen SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.https://t.co/yPHKzqeEJr 1/ pic.twitter.com/FvtqP4IIYG — Hans Kluge (@hans_kluge) August 16, 2023 Kluge cited infrastructure such as early warning systems, variant tracking and vaccine boosters for at-risk groups. “Key to reducing the risk of COVID-19 & other respiratory viruses is better ventilation in our buildings. That’s why WHO Europe is facilitating our region’s first-ever indoor air conference in Bern on 20 September 20, with the Geneva Health Forum,” said Kluge. Globally, nearly 1.5 million new COVID-19 cases and over 2500 deaths were reported in the last 28 days (10 July to 6 August 2023), an increase of 80% and a decrease of 57%, respectively, compared to the previous 28 days, according to the WHO’s latest weekly COVID-19 report. While five WHO regions have reported decreases in the number of both cases and deaths, the Western Pacific Region has reported an increase in cases and a decrease in deaths. As of 6 August 2023, over 769 million confirmed cases and over 6.9 million deaths have been reported globally. Image Credits: WHO. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Combat the infodemic in health information and support health policy reporting from the global South. Our growing network of journalists in Africa, Asia, Geneva and New York connect the dots between regional realities and the big global debates, with evidence-based, open access news and analysis. To make a personal or organisational contribution click here on PayPal.