Maria van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for coronavirus response, said Monday that global cases of Covid-19 have risen for the fifth consecutive week, and that WHO is seeing worrying trends in Europe, as well as number of areas.
“Four of our five WHO regions are seeing an increase in transmission,” she said at a news briefing. “This is the fifth week in a row globally that we have seen an increase in transmission. In the last week, cases have increased by 8%.”
There was a 12% increase in Europe, van Kerkhove said, adding that it is driven by several countries across the region and by the B.1.1.7 variant, which is starting to circulate in many countries in the eastern part of Europe.
The Southeast Asia region has seen a 49% increase in cases, largely driven by increases in India and a number of other countries.
The eastern Mediterranean region has seen an increase of 8%.
The Western Pacific region has seen an increase of 29%, largely driven by an increase in cases in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
“The Americas and Africa have seen a slight decline in the last seven days,” she said. “But, overall, we’re seeing increasing trends and these are worrying trends.”
Van Kerkhove said that in Europe and across a number of countries there is a combination of factors associated with transmission increases, including pressure for the countries to open up and difficulties with individuals and communities complying with proven control measures.