WHO: COVID’s delta variant takes hold in Europe

medical staff at univversity
Medical students prepare to attend their face-to-face class at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, June 10, 2021. The government has allowed some medical schools to start limited face-to-face classes in their campus as the country continues to practice health protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

AP reported that the World Health Organization’s Europe director warned that the highly transmissible COVID-19 variant first identified in India is “poised to take hold in the region,” as many countries prepare to ease restrictions and allow more social gatherings and travel across borders.

During a press briefing on Thursday, WHO’s Dr. Hans Kluge said the variant also known as the delta variant, has shown signs of being able to evade some vaccines and warned that many vulnerable populations, particularly those over age 60, remain unprotected.

“We have been here before,” warned Kluge, WHO’s European regional director. “Over the course of last summer, cases gradually rose in younger age groups and then moved into older age groups, contributing to a devastating resurgence,” he said. Kluge said that spike in COVID-19 ultimately led to more lockdowns and deaths in the fall and winter of 2020. “Let’s not make that mistake again.”

Kluge didn’t say people shouldn’t travel, but urged any travelers to do so wisely. He also called for vaccination and other public health measures to be stepped up across the continent, saying even immunization coverage “is far from sufficient to protect the region.”

Source: AP
Image source: AP