19 deaths in Eastern Europe exceed one million

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Coronavirus deaths in Eastern Europe topped one million on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, as the Omicron variant threatened to strike the region.

Three of the five countries reporting the highest number of daily deaths in Europe are from the east, including Russia, Poland and Ukraine, according to Reuters data through Thursday.

“I am afraid because it is a huge number of daily deaths – huge, unimaginable,” said Bozena Adamowicz, a pensioner from Warsaw.

Eastern Europe represents 39% of the region’s population and has reported more than half of all COVID-related deaths in Europe, according to the Reuters tally.

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The death toll in Eastern Europe reached 1,045,454 on Thursday, compared with 1,873,253 across Europe.

The region includes Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Relatively few cases of Omicron have been detected in Eastern Europe, unlike in Western Europe where daily cases have broken records.

Poland reported 794 COVID-related deaths on Wednesday. This was a record for the fourth wave of the pandemic, although the figure may have been inflated by reports delayed due to Christmas.

Dr Michal Sutkowski, spokesperson for the College of Family Physicians of Poland, blamed the growing toll in Poland on an overburdened health system, lack of knowledge and the relative reluctance to get vaccinated compared to the West, including for the most vulnerable groups.

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“Unfortunately, the Omicron is approaching. It will come sooner or later… and then the number of deaths could increase dramatically, because unfortunately there will be a scale effect, ”he said, adding that he had noticed a growing interest in vaccinations these days. last few weeks.

RUSSIAN TOLL

Russia has overtaken Brazil to have the second highest death toll in the world from the COVID-19 pandemic, behind the United States, data from the Russian state statistics department and Reuters calculations showed on Thursday. .

Statistics department Rosstat said 87,527 people died from coronavirus-related causes in November, making it the deadliest month in Russia since the start of the pandemic https://www.reuters.com/ world / europe / russias-covid- 19-dead-climbs-second-highest-worlds-2021-12-30.

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Globally, the pandemic has killed more than 5.7 million people. (Charts on cases and deaths around the world) https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi

Russia has vaccinated nearly 55% of its population with at least one injection, according to Health Minister Mikhail Murashko.

Anna Popova, head of Russia’s consumer watchdog, has raised concerns about the potential impact of 10 days of New Year’s vacation.

“With the upcoming New Year’s holidays, when the number of people-to-people contact is already increasing, the chances of the new Omicron strain spreading will certainly increase,” she said on Tuesday.

The Czech Republic and Hungary lead the region in immunization rates with almost 64% of the total population of both countries having received at least one injection. Ukraine has the lowest rate with nearly 33% of its residents receiving a single dose, according to Our World in Data. (Graphics on global immunization) https://tmsnrt.rs/3tUM8ta

(Reporting by Lasya Priya M in Bengaluru; Anna Koper, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Alan Charlish and Kacper Pempel in Warsaw, Polina Nikolskaya and Gleb Stolyarov in Moscow; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Keith Weir and Howard Goller)

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Mary I. Bruner