Mexico City / 19.02.2021 05:35:14
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned this Friday against « lowering our guard » in Europe, confirming that the downward trend of new covid-19 infections continues on the continent and recalling that its health systems are facing a « monumental task ».
The regional director for Europe of the WHO, Hans Kluge, confirmed that the trend in the continent is decreasing « for the fifth consecutive week » and that, according to the latest available data, new weekly infections fall by one million for the first time since last September.
Kluge indicated that the European region has reached 37 million cases and almost 830 thousand deaths, and specified the number of deaths falls for the third consecutive week.
« Transmission in most of the region has started to decline. Europe now has a declining share of the global burden of disease and mortality, currently with 28% of new cases and 21% of new deaths, » Kluge said in a statement.
« Despite the encouraging general outlook, the epidemiological improvement may provide a sense of security that results in hasty decisions that, in turn, lead to a relapse of cases, » Kluge warns.
According to the head of the WHO, workers in the health sector have already been vaccinated against covid-19 by an average of 19% in the twenty countries for which they have data in Europe.
« In the coming weeks, as more healthcare providers are immunized, the capacity to address delayed surgeries, canceled chemotherapies and suspended vaccination campaigns grows. That is where we have to gradually shift the focus, while cutting transmission. from covid-19 « added.
Kluge said he has written to all health ministers in the European region to communicate the status of the strategy against the pandemic and the list of tasks that should be prioritized.
According to WHO data, 9 out of 10 countries have suffered an essential healthcare impact from the pandemic and, especially, cancer patients have suffered the consequences.
Kluge also alludes to the impact that the pandemic has had from a mental health point of view and warns that antimicrobial resistance stands out as one of the collateral effects of the priority attention given to covid-19.
The data available to the WHO indicates that there is a « worrying increase in the use of antibiotics based on the mistaken belief that they can prevent covid-19. »