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Eastern Europe struggles to stem region’s worst Covid surge

i24NEWS

clock 2 min read

A healthcare worker administers a dose of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to a patient in Moscow, Russia on October 21, 2021.
Dimitar Dilkoff / AFPA healthcare worker administers a dose of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to a patient in Moscow, Russia on October 21, 2021.

Experts predict case numbers will only increase with the coming winter

Eastern Europe is struggling to combat a surge in Covid cases, the area’s worst influx of infections since the beginning of the pandemic, amid a faltering vaccine rollout.

A recent count of Covid infections in the region showed more than 20 million recorded cases on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Nations within eastern Europe hold the area’s lowest inoculation percentages, less than half of the region’s total population received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Russia, where around 36 percent of the population received one jab, new infections are skyrocketing.

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Over 40 percent of new cases tallied in eastern Europe were located in Russia, and the country’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the healthcare system is under immense pressure from the outbreak.

Experts predict case numbers will only increase with the coming winter due to close indoor proximity and a relaxing of Covid regulations, and fear a potential repeat of last year’s Covid surge.

“Most of those restrictions are now not in place anymore in many countries. And we're seeing that coincide with the winter period in which people are moving inside as the cold snaps appear,” World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Director Mike Ryan said, according to Reuters.

“The question remains as to whether or not we will have the same experience as last year with health systems coming once again under pressure.”