A top official from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Europe has surpassed one million deaths from Covid-19 and the situation remains “serious”, with about 1.6 million new cases reported each week in the region.
Overall, a tally by Johns Hopkins University shows nearly three million deaths have been linked to Covid-19 worldwide – with the Americas hardest hit, followed by Europe.
The United States, Brazil and Mexico have reported the highest number of deaths, collectively at more than 1.1 million.
🎥🔴 Watch LIVE as @hans_kluge, @Vkikilias and experts from WHO/Europe answer questions from journalists on #COVID19 and advancing quality of care and patient safety in the European Region https://t.co/lV98CjH0vo
— WHO/Europe (@WHO_Europe) April 15, 2021
Addressing recent concerns about vaccines, Dr Hans Kluge also said the risk of people suffering blood clots is far higher for people with Covid-19 than people who receive AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to Greece, Dr Kluge did point to “early signs that transmission may be slowing across several countries” in WHO’s 53-country European region, which stretches into Central Asia — and cited “declining incidence” among the oldest people.
He said the proportion of Covid-19 deaths among people over 80, who have been prioritised for vaccines, had dropped to nearly 30% – the lowest level in the pandemic.
“For now, the risk of suffering blood clots is much higher for someone with Covid-19 than for someone who has taken the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said.
“Let there be no doubt about it, the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective in reducing Covid-19 hospitalisation and preventing deaths,” he added, saying WHO recommends its use for all eligible adults.