Several European governments have declared intention to impose total or partial lockdowns as COVID-19 infections are rising sharply across Europe.
The Netherlands became the first European country to impose partial lockdown this winter.
EU experts said 10 countries in the bloc were causing “very high concern”.
The World Heath Organisation (WHO) has earlier warned that Europe could see ‘another half million Covid-19 deaths’ by February.
The rising number of cases of Covid-19 in Europe is of “grave concern” and the region could see another half a million deaths by early next year, the WHO said in a statement issued on Thursday.
With 78 million cases in the WHO’s European region—which spans 53 countries and territories and includes several nations in Central Asia—the cumulative toll now exceeded that of South East Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean region, the Western Pacific, and Africa combined, the organisation said.
“We are, once again, at the epicentre,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told a press conference.
Kluge noted that the “current pace of transmission across the 53 countries of the European Region is of grave concern”.
According to “one reliable projection” the current trajectory would mean “another half a million Covid-19 deaths” by February, Kluge added.
The increases were observed “across all age groups”, he said.
Kluge blamed the soaring caseload on “insufficient vaccination coverage” and “the relaxation of public health and social measures”.