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Covid: cases growing anew in Central- and Eastern Europe

Amid mutant strain fears spreading

24 February, 14:36
(by Stefano Giantin) (ANSA) - BELGRADE, FEB 24 - After weeks of relative calm, COVID cases surged anew amid variants fears in Central- and Eastern Europe (CEE), in particular in Czechia, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary, in the week ending February 21, show data from the latest epidemiological update of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Several countries in the region expressed fears about the diffusion of variants of the coronavirus. According to WHO data, the variant B.1.1.7, first detected in the United Kingdom, is spreading in many nations in CEE.

According to the WHO epidemiological update, a total of 342,593 new COVID-19 cases +13,4% compared to last week) and 9,427 new deaths (-8.9% week-on-week) were reported by the countries in the Balkans and in Central- and Eastern Europe to the World Health Organization (WHO) through February 21, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 10,919,124 and of deaths to 256,194.

According to WHO data, in the past week the countries across Central- and Eastern Europe that reported more new cases were Czechia (65150), Germany (51998), Poland (49812), Ukraine (33313), Romania (17185), Slovakia (15909), Hungary (15561) and Serbia (14629).

The countries across the region that reported more new deaths last week were Germany (2881), Poland (1364), Czechia (1071), Ukraine (773), Slovakia (693), Hungary (593) and Romania (470).

In Central- and Eastern Europe, the highest number of deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic were reported in Germany (67841), Poland 42171), Ukraine (25103), Romania (19795), Czechia (19214) and Hungary (14299).

Slovenia remains the country in the region with the highest ratio between deaths and population, with 195 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population, compared to 158 in Italy, followed by Czechia (179) Bosnia-Herzegovina (152), Montenegro (150), Hungary (148), North Macedonia (146) and Bulgaria (142).

In Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and in the Western Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania) 2,336,209 confirmed cumulative cases (+62,456) and 55,635 total deaths (+1,305) were registered as of February 21.

According to official data collected by the portal Our World in Data, updated as of February 22, Serbia (with 14.5 doses per 100 people) is third in Europe after the United Kingdom (27.03) and Malta (14.59) for COVID-19 vaccination doses administered per 100 people. In Central- and Eastern Europe, the countries that are vaccinating at the fastest pace are Romania (7.32), Poland (7.29) and Lithuania (7.13) against 5.97 in Italy. (ANSA).

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