Europe records rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths in past week, says WHO

Continent was only major region to experience increase in infections and deaths

Europe was the only major region worldwide to report an increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths over the past week, with double-digit percentage rises, the UN health agency said on Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation said new Covid-19 cases in its 53-country European region, which stretches as far east as former Soviet republics in Central Asia, were an 18 per cent increase on the week before.

It was the fourth straight week of increases.

In the WHO’s weekly epidemiological report on Covid-19, Europe also had a 14 per cent increase in virus-related deaths.

That amounted to more than 1.6 million new cases and 21,000 deaths.

The US had the largest number of new cases over the past seven days with almost 513,000, although that was a 12 per cent drop from the previous week.

It had more than 11,600 deaths, which was about the same number as the previous week, the WHO said.

Britain was second at more than 330,000 new cases. Russia, which has had national daily records for Covid-19 infections and deaths in recent days, had nearly 250,000 infections over the past week.

WHO officials say there are several factors for Europe’s coronavirus woes, including relatively low rates of vaccination in some East European countries.

Countries including Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Georgia had some of the highest rates of infection for each 100,000 people in the past week.

Overall, the WHO’s vast Americas region, which has recorded the most deaths of any region from the pandemic, at more than 2.7 million, had a 1 per cent rise in deaths over the past week, even as cases fell by 9 per cent.

Cases in the WHO’s South-East Asia region, which includes populous countries such as India and Indonesia, fell 8 per cent even as deaths rose 13 per cent over the past week.

Updated: October 27th 2021, 9:57 PM