WHO warns over COVID resilience

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) European office has warned that the risk of Covid-19 has not gone away, saying it was still responsible for nearly 1,000 deaths a week in the region.

In May the global health body, which is part of the United Nations, announced that the Covid-19 pandemic was no longer deemed a “global health emergency.”

“Whilst it may not be a global public health emergency, however, Covid-19 has not gone away,” WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said.

The WHO’s European region comprises 53 countries, including several in central Asia.

“Close to 1,000 new Covid-19 deaths continue to occur across the region every week, and this is an underestimate due to a drop in countries regularly reporting Covid-19 deaths to WHO,” Kluge added, and urged authorities to ensure vaccination coverage of at least 70% for vulnerable groups.

“Unless we develop comprehensive diagnostics and treatment for long Covid, we will never truly recover from the pandemic,” Kluge said, encouraging more research in the area which he called an under-recognised condition.

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