Due to the high overall vaccination coverage and the rise of the seemingly less severe Omicron variant, Europe has reached a “cease-fire”‘ with the coronavirus, says Hans Kluge, regional director of WHO Europe.
If the situation remains as it is, Kluge believes the end of the pandemic is in sight and there is a good chance that the countries will soon get the crisis under control.
With the end of winter, “this period of increased protection should be seen as a cease-fire on the road to a lasting peace,” Kluge said, during a press conference on Thursday.
2⃣focus on the five stabilizers for the most vulnerable, with strong governmental oversight and commitment;
3⃣Promote self-protecting behaviour and individual responsibility – here with lower governmental oversight to limit unnecessary socio-economic impacts;
— WHO/Europe (@WHO_Europe) February 3, 2022
For that, however, it is important that European countries make every effort to keep vaccination coverage high and to give their population a booster dose.
Wearing face masks and properly ventilating indoor areas also remain important, stressed Kluge. Additionally, it must be ensured that the available vaccines are better distributed across the world, because otherwise the risk of new variants is too great.