New Delhi: The World Health Organization is “very worried” about the spread of Covid-19 in Europe as the continent battles a fresh wave of infections.
Speaking to the BBC, regional director Dr. Hans Kluge warned that 500,000 more deaths could be recorded by March unless urgent action is taken.
Dr. Kluge said an increase in mask wearing could immediately help.
The warning comes as several nations report record-high infection rates and introduce full and partial lockdowns.
Dr. Kluge said factors like the winter season, insufficient vaccine coverage and the regional dominance of the more transmissible Delta variant were behind the spread.
He called for increased vaccine uptake and the implementation of basic public health measures and new medical treatments to help fight the rise.
The UK recorded 44,242 new coronavirus cases on Friday.
The government has consistently said it has no plans for another lockdown for England but has said it could bring in extra Covid measures – known as Plan B – to protect the NHS. These would include mandatory Covid passports for some indoor venues, compulsory face coverings in certain indoor settings and advice to work from home.