Europe may face spike in hospitalisations, mortality during winter due to COVID-19

Geneva: WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri Kluge on Thursday warned of a possible uptick in hospitalisations and mortality rates in the region during the winter, given the situation with COVID-19 and other common circumstances during this time.

“At one stage younger people, particularly with the winter coming, will be in more close contact with the elder population. We don’t want to do unnecessary predictions, but this is definitely one of the options that, at one point, there will be more hospitalizations and uptake in mortality,” Kluge told a virtual briefing.

The director highlighted three important factors for the coming months: the reopening of schools after closure due to the spread of the coronavirus, influenza season and excessive deaths among the elderly during the winter.

“We are not back to February it is true that we see in 32 of 55 state parties and territories a 14-day incident rate’s increase of more than 10 per cent so definitely there is uptake which is generalized in Europe … Now, we are much more sophisticated in our knowledge of what works. In that sense, it’s possible to manage the transmission of the virus in society, have a running economy, and, very importantly, have an educational system open,” Kluge also said.

The World Health Organisation has confirmed a total of 23.98 million COVID-19 cases in 216 countries and areas, including 820,763 fatalities.

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