5 November

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 248,757,000, with more than 5,032,000 deaths reported.

Eastern Europe is now a pandemic hotspot with a high number of daily new cases and deaths. Russia, Romania, and Ukraine are suffering the heavy toll of the highly infectious Delta variant of coronavirus.

Ukraine and Romania have reported over 400 daily new confirmed deaths, whereas Russia has over 1,000 daily deaths.

This is in sharp contrast to Western Europe where the daily new confirmed deaths are much lower than Eastern Europe.

The major reason for this difference is the low vaccination rate in Eastern European countries.

In Ukraine and Russia, only 17% and 33% of the population are fully vaccinated. Millions of the Eastern European population remain unvaccinated, increasing the risk for the winter surge of the virus.

Encouraging people to get vaccinated will help prevent a fresh wave of cases, as will continued mitigation with mask use and other precautionary measures.

In Western Europe, daily confirmed Covid-19 cases have started to increase in recent weeks, with France, Germany, Italy, and Spain all reporting higher 7-day averages of new daily confirmed cases this week compared to two weeks ago.

Daily confirmed cases, however, are still lower than in the UK.

The possible reason for this difference is the high vaccination rate in children and mitigation measures such as mask-wearing and vaccine passports in Western Europe.

There are concerns in the UK that a high rate of infection in children has spilled over to older age groups as the cases and hospitalizations are also rising in these groups.

To help mitigate further transmission, public health measures must remain in place, in addition to increasing vaccinations among school-aged children who are currently a primary driver of transmission in the UK.

Bishal Bhandari, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData