Europe’s COVID spread is ‘warning shot’ for rest of world – WHO

November 5, 2021 - 10:39 AM
A newborn baby infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) receives oxygen at a maternity hospital in Volgograd, Russia August 19, 2021. (Reuters/Kirill Braga/File Photo)

GENEVA — Europe registered a 55% rise in COVID-19 cases in the last four weeks, despite the availability of vaccines, which should serve as a “warning shot” to other regions, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said on Thursday.

WHO emergency director Mike Ryan said that some European countries have “sub-optimal vaccination coverage” despite availability.

“It’s a warning shot for the world to see what is happening in Europe despite [the] availability of vaccination,” Ryan told a news conference.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that Indian drugmaker Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin showed about 70% efficacy against the delta variant.

The WHO said on Wednesday that it has granted approval for its emergency use listing. —Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru