Europe is the only region of the world that experienced increases in both new coronavirus cases and deaths in the past week, according to the World Health Organization, which said the surge was driven by figures in Eastern European countries with low vaccination rates.
A woman wearing a protective face mask walks in front of the Saint Basil’s Cathedral during the … [+]
Europe also counted a 14% surge in deaths attributed to the virus over the last seven days, or roughly 21,000 new deaths.
Officials said the grim statistics can be partly attributed to the low vaccination rates in Eastern Europe, where countries like Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and the Ukraine have reported record numbers of coronavirus infections and death over the past week.
Other world regions are faring much better, the WHO said, with the Americas seeing a 1% increase in fatalities as cases dropped by 9% over the last week.
In the WHO’s southeast Asia bloc, deaths jumped 13% as infections slumped by 8%.
In terms of the gross number of new cases, the U.S. still leads the world in coronavirus cases, although the nearly 513,000 new cases reported over the past week marked a 12% dip from the week before, according to the Associated Press, followed by the U.K. and Russia, where officials have expressed concern over rising coronavirus figures.
1.6 million. That’s how many new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Europe over the past week, according to the WHO.
On Thursday, the WHO announced that one billion coronavirus doses had been administered in the health group’s Europe region, to roughly one-third of all residents. However, there’s still a large gap between many countries, with some struggling to maintain an adequate supply of vaccines while others, like Russia and Bulgaria, are battling vaccine skepticism. Malta has Europe’s highest vaccination rate, with 81.2% of residents being fully vaccinated, while the country with the lowest is Bulgaria, where only one in five have completed an inoculation series.
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