Europe reported almost two million new COVID-19 infections last week, the largest weekly case count in the region since the start of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
Just last week alone, the continent accounted for about two-thirds of the world's 3.1 million new reported cases and more than half of all COVID-19 deaths globally, the WHO statistics showed.
The WHO said COVID-19 cases have been surging not only in countries with lower vaccination rates in Eastern Europe but also in countries with some of the world's highest vaccination rates in Western Europe.
Experts pointed out that the insufficient vaccine roll-out in parts of the region, waning immunity among groups vaccinated early, and relaxed social restrictions aimed to boost economies are likely to have contributed to the recurrence.
In response to the rapid deterioration, some European countries are forced to have announced new measures to push for more jabs and reimposed social restrictions.
The Netherlands, for example, announced on Friday a partial lockdown of three weeks, with restaurants, bars, and essential shops having to close at 8 p.m. starting from Saturday.