Infection records broken in Europe amid devastating fourth wave
Updated: 2021-11-25 17:31:59 KST
This week, several European countries are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 infections.
The Netherlands saw its highest daily figures since the start of the pandemic with over 23-thousand cases.
The Czech Republic had over 25-thousand in a single day.
And Hungary reported more than 12,six-hundred cases.
The WHO says the surge is due to the more contagious Delta variant, loosened restrictions, low vaccination rates, and the cold weather bringing more people indoors.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 has become the number one cause of death in Europe.
More than 1.5 million people in Europe have already died from the pandemic.
And the WHO projects another 700-thousand could die over the winter -- potentially bringing the total fatalities to 2.2 million by March.
With no other plan, several countries are returning to drastic measures.
Austria has gone back into lockdown and plans to become the first country in the region to make vaccinations mandatory by February.
Neighboring Slovakia also ordered a two-week lockdown on Wednesday.
Denmark has proposed reintroducing its mask mandate on public transport and in shops.
The Netherlands will announce new measures on Friday.
And France is also expected to do so, although unlike other countries, it has ruled out another lockdown.
To curb the situation, the EU is recommending vaccine boosters for all adults, with priority for those over 40.
It's a shift from its previous guidance -- suggesting extra doses for older people with weakened immune systems.
Meanwhile, the WHO regional director says, what is needed at this point is "a vaccine plus approach".
That means mask-wearing, social distancing and other measures.
He said, if 95 percent of people wore masks, more than 160-thousand fatalities could be avoided by spring.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.