EU officials say Delta is driving deterioration of COVID-19 situation
COVID-19 cases in the European Union (EU) and related countries increased by 64% this week compared to the previous week, with the situation likely to worsen as activity of the Delta variant (B1617.2) continues to develop, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said today.
Increase in cases in 20 European countries
the report covers EU member countries, as well as those that are part of the European Economic Area. The report does not include the UK, where COVID-19 activity is booming and is at its highest level since January.
Cases are on the rise in 20 countries, with those aged 15 to 24 being the hardest hit group and the impact smaller in those over 65.
So far, the impact on health systems has been minimal in most countries. Hospitalization rates, one of the indicators of severity, are stable, although levels are increasing in three countries: Cyprus, Portugal and Finland. Overall, the region’s intensive care unit (ICU) levels are declining, but two countries, Cyprus and Portugal, are reporting increases.
The predominance of the Delta variant in the countries covered by the report ranges from 0.7% to 87.3%, with an average of 39.1% for the region.
In the UK, Delta variant cases rose 17% last week, accounting for 99% of sequenced cases, Public Health England said today in its regular weekly update.
Jenny Harries, MD, managing director of the UK’s Health Security Agency, said case rates are still high and rising, but the trend still does not appear to be leading to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths. “This is a testament to the continued success of the immunization program in reducing the incidence of serious disease.”
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