Europe Only Area Where COVID Cases Are Rising, 6 Percent Increase Recorded Last Week

The World Health Organization has revealed that Europe is the only region where COVID-19 cases are actively rising.

The agency reports that cases of COVID-19 across Europe have increased for the fifth consecutive week. New cases of the virus have jumped 6 percent in Europe, while the weekly number of infections in other regions around the world either fell or remained stagnant. For example, the Middle East saw a 12 percent decrease in infections while Southeast Asia and Africa's infections fell by 9 percent.

Europe has seen about 192 new cases per 100,000 people in the past week. The Americas are trailing behind, with 72 new points per 100,000 citizens.

"Unfortunately, the fourth wave is developing exactly as we had feared," Robert Koch Institute President Lothar Wieler said, "because not enough people are vaccinated and because measures ... are no longer being implemented sufficiently." The Robert Koch Institute is located in Germany and is a federal agency responsible for disease control.

The Institute reported 20,398 new cases in Germany over the past 24 hours. According to the Associated Press, Wieler strongly recommends wearing masks and social distancing as much as possible.

Unfortunately, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is on the rise. WHO reports that COVID deaths have risen 8 percent due to Southeast Asia's deaths spiking by 50 percent.

Over 3 million cases have been reported globally over the past week.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Europe COVID Rise
A woman wearing a face mask stands opposite the Houses of Parliament on November 02, 2021 in London, England. The WHO reports that Europe is the only region in the world where COVID-19 cases are increasing. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Several countries in Central and Eastern Europe have seen daily case numbers shoot up in recent weeks. Infections in the Czech Republic soared by 9,902 in one day, the Czech Health Ministry reported Wednesday. That was about 60 percent more than a week earlier and the highest daily increase since March 23, the ministry said.

The country had a 7-day infection rate of 386 people per 100,000, almost double the figure from a week ago. The government has said the virus is spreading mostly among people who are unvaccinated.

Poland's Health Ministry on Wednesday reported the country's highest daily number of new cases since April, with over 10,400, or 20 percent more than a week earlier. The ministry said more than 120 people with COVID-19 died over 24 hours.

In Germany, the head of the national disease control center said that infection rates have risen "rapidly," with significantly more patients in intensive care and deaths rising above 100 per day on some recent occasions.

Another 194 deaths were reported, pushing Germany's total so far above 96,000.

WHO said the continuing rise in confirmed cases across Europe has been driven mostly by Britain, Russia, Turkey, and Romania, the report showed.

Leading British medical authorities have called for the government to again require infection precautions such as mask-wearing and social distancing, but the government has insisted the health system can handle the increasing caseload.

Some scientists worry that waning immunity from vaccinations across Europe could allow even more people to fall ill from COVID-19 during the winter season.

WHO nevertheless has slammed rich countries for rolling out booster vaccine programs while the majority of poor countries have yet to administer shots to their most vulnerable populations; the agency said last week that about 1 million booster shots are administered every day, about three times the number of COVID-19 doses given in poor countries.

WHO said the easier-to-spread delta variant remains predominant worldwide and continues to mostly crowd out other variants; more than 99 percent of COVID-19 samples sequenced by an international database were the delta variant.

It said delta's spread has been slightly slower in some parts of South America, where other variants, including the mu variant, account for a large proportion of cases.

COVID Frankfurt
A woman walks past an abandoned coronavirus test center in Frankfurt, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. Germany has seen an increase in COVID cases over the past few weeks. AP Photo/Michael Probst