WHO Warns Of Omicron Rise In East Europe

New Delhi: With cases of COVID-19 more than doubling in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine over the past two weeks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that a new wave of infections from the Omicron variant of coronavirus is moving towards the east of Europe.

“Over the past two weeks, cases of COVID-19 have more than doubled in six countries in this part of the region,” WHO’s Europe regional director Hans Kluge said on Tuesday. The global health body also urged authorities to improve vaccination and other measures adding that it was “not the moment to lift measures that we know work in reducing the spread of Covid-19.”

Kluge also put an emphasis on improving vaccination rates, which have lagged in Eastern Europe compared to the rest of the region. He said less than 40 per cent of people over age 60 in Bosnia, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan have completed a full COVID-19 vaccine series.

The official even called on governments and health officials “to closely examine the local reasons influencing lower vaccine demand and acceptance, and devise tailored interventions to increase vaccination rates urgently, based on the context-specific evidence.”

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