As winter sets in, coronavirus infections are at an all-time high in many European countries.
The World Health Organization has urged swift action, calling the current wave a “grave concern.”
“The present rate of transmission throughout the 53 nations of the European Region is gravely concerning,” regional WHO head Hans Kluge said, adding that the more transmissible Delta variety aggravated the spread.
He warned that if Europe continues on its current path, there might be 500,000 COVID-related deaths in the continent by February.
The rising number of cases, particularly in Eastern Europe, has sparked debate over whether to reintroduce travel restrictions before the Christmas holiday season and how to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
The virus spreads more quickly during the winter months when individuals congregate indoors.
Editing by Saadatu ALbashir