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head World Health Organization Europe office said Tuesday that health officials Their attention turned to the increasing rates of COVID-19 infection In Eastern Europe, where six countries – including Russia And Ukraine They have seen a doubling in the number of cases in the past two weeks.
Dr. Hans Kluge He said the 53-nation region, which extends from the former Soviet republics to central AsiaIt has now recorded more than 165 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1.8 million deaths linked to the pandemic – including 25,000 in the last week alone.
“Today, our focus is on the eastern European region of the WHO,” Cluj He said in Russian at a media briefing, indicating an increase in the highly transmissible omicron variant. “Over the past two weeks, cases of COVID-19 have doubled in six countries in this part of the region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Russian Federation and Ukraine).”
“As expected, the Omicron wave is moving east: 10 eastern member states have now discovered this alternative,” he said.
However, Omicron is milder than previous variants and healthcare systems in most countries around the world are not under stress.
Cluj sought to focus on improvement Vaccination rates, which was lagging behind in Eastern Europe compared to the rest of the region. He said less than 40% of people over the age of 60 in Bosnia, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan have completed the full series of vaccines for COVID-19.
He called on governments and health officials to “closely examine the local causes influencing low vaccine demand and acceptance, and devise tailored interventions to urgently increase vaccination rates, based on context-specific evidence.” He also said it was “not the time to lift measures that we know work to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
The head of the World Health Organization in Europe also highlighted his own “message of hope” – referring to high levels of immunity through vaccination or recovering from illness. infectionAnd the end of the looming winter, which causes many people to gather inside their homes, where there are virus It can spread more easily.
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