Europe is facing a potentially devastating winter that could see half a million people die with Covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned, as it sounded the alarm over a surge in cases and bemoaned stuttering vaccination rollouts on parts of the continent.
Much of Europe is battling spikes in infections, with Germany on Thursday reporting its highest number of daily new cases since the pandemic began. And in a dire new warning, WHO regional director Hans Kluge said the pace of transmission across the region was of “grave concern.” “We are, once again, at the epicenter,” Kluge said in a statement.
Number of COVID-19 Omicron variant cases in Europe as of November 29, 2021, by country
In late-November 2021, the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) was designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization due to fears about a higher transmissibility from the variant and a possible decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines against it.