Another wave of COVID-19 infections may have begun in Europe as cases begin to tick up across the region, the World Health Organization and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said on Wednesday.
"Although we are not where we were one year ago, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over," WHO's Europe director, Hans Kluge, and ECDC's director, Andrea Ammon, said in a joint statement.
"We are unfortunately seeing indicators rising again in Europe, suggesting that another wave of infections has begun."
WHO's region-wise data showed that only Europe recorded a rise in COVID-19 cases in the week ended Oct. 2, clocking an increase of 8% from the prior week.
Public health experts have warned that vaccine fatigue and confusion over available vaccines will likely limit booster uptake in the region.
Millions of people across Europe remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, the WHO and ECDC noted.
They urged European countries to administer both flu and COVID-19 vaccines ahead of an expected surge in cases of seasonal influenza.
"There was no time to lose," the WHO and ECDC said, adding that vulnerable groups, including people over 60 years old, pregnant women and those with co-morbidities, should get vaccinated against both influenza and COVID-19.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Raghav Mahobe in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)