WHO Europe Urges Countries to Maintain COVID-19 Surveillance as Cases Increase
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.

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.

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