The Europe and Central Asia region of the World Health Organization (WHO) is the only one in the world where COVID-19 cases and deaths are increasing.
It has seen coronavirus deaths increase by 10% over the past week, the WHO said.
Almost two-thirds of all global infections occurred in the region, where cases increased by 7%, the agency added in its weekly report.
The number of weekly deaths from COVID-19 decreased by approximately 4% worldwide and decreased in all regions except Europe and Central Asia.
WHO Director for Europe Dr. Hans Kluge said last week that the region was “back at the epicenter of the pandemic.”
Kluge warned that the WHO Europe and Central Asia region could suffer another 500,000 deaths in February if no further steps are taken to limit the spread of the virus.
Germany reports new daily case registry
Germany’s national disease control center said it had registered a record number of new coronavirus cases.
The Robert Koch Institute said 39,676 cases were recorded on Wednesday, surpassing last Friday’s previous daily record of 37,120 new cases.
Several hospitals have said in recent days that they are again working to the limit and have ICUs so full of COVID-19 patients that they cannot admit new patients.
“We have a real emergency situation right now,” said Christian Drosten, head of virology at the Charite Hospital in Berlin.
Government officials have repeatedly said that they do not intend to impose new blockades and instead have asked residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. About 67% of Germany’s population is fully vaccinated, according to official figures.
On Wednesday, Germany’s permanent vaccination committee published new recommendations, warning that citizens under the age of 30 should only receive the vaccine developed by Pfizer / BioNTech.
High infection rates in central Europe
Coronavirus cases have also soared to a new record in Slovakia this week.
The Slovak Ministry of Health reported that the daily increase in new infections reached 7,055 on Tuesday, beating the previous record last week.
The number of people needing hospital treatment also rose to a total of 2,478, with 370 admitted this week, the ministry said. Approximately 80% of those hospitalized have not been fully vaccinated.
“We are facing catastrophic development in hospitals,” said President Zuzana Čaputová, adding that the vaccination rate should “be accelerated significantly.”
In neighboring Czech Republic, new infections rose to levels close to the record numbers seen in January and March, authorities said.
Both Slovakia and the Czech Republic are below the EU average of citizens who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The two countries are discussing additional measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Bleakest records in Russia
In Russia, new infections and deaths are still at record highs. Around 40,000 cases and more than 1,100 deaths have been registered every day in the country since the end of October.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova told a government meeting on Wednesday that nearly 83% of hospital beds reserved for coronavirus patients were occupied.
Russia’s surge in infections and deaths comes amid low vaccination rates and the government’s reluctance to tighten restrictions.
Less than 40% of Russia’s population has been fully vaccinated, despite Russia offering four domestically developed vaccines.
Instead, some Russian citizens have been traveling to Croatia and Serbia to get vaccinated because Sputnik V and other vaccines have not been approved by the WHO and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
In all, Russia’s state task force on coronavirus has reported 8.9 million confirmed infections and 250,454 deaths since the start of the pandemic, by far the highest death toll in Europe.
However, some experts believe that the official count is significantly higher.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism