|WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge (Photo: ICN)
In an interview with Reuters, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge urged countries to take action now to avoid overwhelming health systems in the fall and winter as the Omicron subvariant BA.5 continues to spread.
Close to three million new COVID-19 cases were reported in Europe last week, nearly half of all new cases globally. Hospitalization rates doubled over the same period, and close to 3,000 people are dying of COVID-19 every week, Kluge said.
He stressed the need for "pandemic stabilisers", such as a second booster dose ahead of the expected variant-specific vaccines in the autumn, as well as the promotion of mask wearing and better ventilation.