Who: There will be a longer lull in the European outbreak

Europe may soon enter a long lull in what amounts to a ceasefire, thanks to a less severe variant of the Omicron virus, high levels of immunity and the arrival of a warm spring, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, according to EU news agency.Hans Klug, who regional Director for Europe.Hans Kluge, the WHO’s Regional director for Europe, was quoted as saying that a higher protection status in the European region could bring us lasting peace, even if a new strain of the omicron virus emerges that is deadlier than the omicron variant.Mr Klug said that in 53 countries, including the UK, 12 million new novel coronavirus cases were recorded last week, the highest weekly total in the outbreak, with about 22 per cent testing positive.The number of hospitalizations is increasing again, but not at the same rate, and the number of patients in intensive care is not increasing significantly.Across Europe, the death toll has also begun to level off.Klug says the huge capital of vaccine-derived and natural immunization, the favourable seasonal pause and the lower severity of the Omicron variant mean the government now has a unique opportunity to control transmission.This opens up the prospect of a long period of calm and higher levels of population defence in case infection rates rise again.Klug is credible in stressing that the European region is heading towards some kind of pandemic endgame.Authorities should use this respite constructively to continue and intensify vaccination, protect the most vulnerable, promote individual responsibility and strengthen surveillance to detect new variants.’I think it’s possible to deal with the inevitable new variants without re-installing the kind of disruptive measures we needed before,’ Mr. Klug said.He added that ensuring equal protection for all countries must now be a top priority.This requires a dramatic and uncompromising increase in the cross-border sharing of vaccines.We can no longer accept inequality in vaccines, which must be available to all, in the remotest corners of our vast regions and beyond.Ahead of World Cancer Day on February 4, who Regional Director for Europe Peter Klug noted that the outbreak has had a devastating impact on cancer patients over the past two years as health systems have struggled to screen, diagnose and treat.Early in the epidemic, he said, aggressive tumor diagnoses dropped 44 percent in Belgium, colorectal screening dropped 46 percent in Italy, and the number of cancers diagnosed in Spain in 2020 was 34 percent lower than expected.Many countries have improved since then, klug says, but the knock-on effects of the chaos will last for years, and any relief must be immediately used to reduce the backlog of chronic care services.(Mr. Huang)

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