The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was “very concerned” about the growing number of coronavirus infections in Europe.
Speaking to the BBC on November 20, WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge warned that some 500,000 deaths could be recorded by March if urgent action was not taken.
His warning followed reports from the Czech Republic and Slovakia of a record number of new COVID-19 cases.
Other European countries have also reported a worsening of the pandemic situation. Kluge said there are a number of factors that have contributed to this including insufficient vaccination, the winter season and the regional dominance of the highly transmitted Delta variant.
Earlier in the week, Austria announced a national blockade starting on November 22, while countries like the Czech Republic and Slovakia said they were imposing new restrictions on people who are not vaccinated.
Last week the Netherlands imposed a partial three-week blockade to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as there has been an increase in new cases of coronavirus over the last period.
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