05 December 2021,   05:55
One death from COVID-19 every 17 seconds in Europe, WHO says

One person is dying from coronavirus every 17 seconds in Europe, the regional head of the World Health Organization has said, as the pandemic continues to threaten to overwhelm national health systems around the continent.

Dr Hans Kluge said on Thursday the 53 countries that make up the WHO’s European region had recorded more than 15.7m Covid-19 cases – including 4m this month alone – and nearly 355,000 deaths.

More than 80% of countries were reporting high 14-day incidence rates greater than 100 per 100,000 people, Kluge said, with nearly a third recording very high rates of greater than 700 per 100,000.

“As a result, we are seeing increasing signals related to overwhelmed health systems”, - he said, noting that intensive care wards in France have been at 95%-plus capacity for 10 days and those in Switzerland are at full capacity.