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WHO warns of 700,000 more deaths in Europe by March, cases surge in Israel – ThePrint

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A masked elderly pedestrian on an almost deserted shopping street in Vienna, Austria, on 22 November 2021 | Photo: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg


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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus continues to spread across the world. The total number of cases worldwide is over 259,146,198, while the number of deaths due to the virus stands at 5,186,052.

Europe and parts of Asia could see 700,000 more Covid deaths by March, the WHO has warned. Waning vaccine effectiveness causes a fresh surge in Israel, and the Netherlands was forced to shift Covid-19 patients to Germany amid a shortage of intensive care beds in the country.

ThePrint brings you some of the important global stories on the pandemic.

Europe region could see 700,000 more Covid deaths by March

Europe and a few regions of Asia could see 700,000 more people dying of Covid-19 by March, the World Health Organization has warned as it noted that the death toll in 53 countries in the European regions already exceeds by 1.5 million.

Calling Covid the top cause of death in Europe region, the WHO Tuesday said that based on current trends, cumulative reported deaths are projected to reach over 2.2 million by spring next year, reported BBC.

The high number of unvaccinated citizens and the spread of the Delta variant were key factors leading to the high transmission rates in the European region, the WHO said.

The WHO’s assessment comes after a number of countries, including France, Germany and Greece, are considering making booster shots a requirement for their citizens to be considered fully vaccinated.

According to data compiled by worldometer, Europe has reported 71,183,312 Covid-19 cases and 1,388,780 deaths.

Waning vaccine effectiveness causes a fresh surge in Israel

Israel government gears up for another wave of Covid-19 as health experts claimed that the waning effectiveness of vaccines has accelerated the infection rate in the country, reported Haaretz.

The panel also remarked that the children’s vaccination drive, which began Tuesday, would not be enough by itself to halt the pandemic.

The rise in new Covid-19 cases has come after a 10-week standstill of coronavirus’ spread in the country. The government has been asked to reimpose the Covid-19 restrictions and to test people arriving in Israel after three to five days.

During the cabinet meeting Tuesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also called officials to begin planning for an antigen test campaign in schools when students resume their classes after the Hanukkah break, a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem.

Israel has reported 1,341,305 Covid-19 cases and 8,177 fatalities.

Netherlands shifts Covid patients to Germany amid bed shortage

With almost half of Netherlands intensive care beds — 488 of a total 1,050 — dedicated to treating Covid-19 patients, the country Tuesday had resorted to transporting patients across the border to Germany to reduce pressure on Dutch hospitals, reported Reuters.

On Tuesday, two patients traveled some 240 km east as they were shifted from a hospital in Rotterdam in the Netherlands to one in Bochum in Germany.

Around 23,000 new infections were reported in the Netherlands the same day while the weekly numbers from the national health institute showed 153,957 new cases were registered in seven days, showcasing a 39 per cent rise compared to the week before.

The Dutch health authority (NZA) Tuesday said almost a third of all operating theatres in the Netherlands had been closed to limit the use of intensive care beds. The NZA has also warned that the deadlines for critical operations can’t be met in about a fifth of all Dutch hospitals.

The Netherlands has registered 2,488,244 Covid-19 cases and 19,048 deaths.

What else we’re reading:

U.S. pediatricians say Covid cases in children are on the rise: The New York Times

Martinique: Shots fired at police as anger rises over COVID curbs: Al Jazeera

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