Europe surpasses 1 million COVID-19 deaths, says WHO

Coronavirus Updates

FILE – In this file photo dated Monday, May 17, 2004, The World Health Organisation, WHO, logo seen at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The World Health Organization’s European director Dr. Hans Kluge on Thursday Sept. 17, 2020, has warned countries against reducing the quarantine period for people potentially exposed to the coronavirus and acknowledged that COVID-19 “fatigue” is setting in. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone FILE via AP)

GENEVA — A top official from the World Health Organization says Europe has surpassed 1 million deaths from COVID-19.

Dr. Hans Kluge says the situation remains “serious” with about 1.6 million new cases reported each week in the 53 countries that make up its European region.

Addressing recent concerns about vaccines, Kluge says the risk of people suffering blood clots is far higher for people with COVID-19 than people who receive AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine.

Kluge pointed to “early signs that transmission may be slowing across several countries” and cited “declining incidence” among the oldest people. He says the proportion of COVID-19 deaths among people over 80, who have been prioritized for vaccines, had dropped to nearly 30%.

Worldwide, a tally by Johns Hopkins University shows nearly 3 million deaths have been linked to COVID-19 — with the Americas hardest hit, followed by Europe. The United States, Brazil and Mexico have reported the highest number of deaths, collectively, at more than 1.1 million.

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