The World Health Organisation says all countries remain vulnerable to intense transmission of COVID-19. WHO Head Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, who briefed the media in Geneva on Wednesday, says, “We are not out of the woods yet when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This comes as several countries have experienced a surge of new infections in Europe, while some countries are battling a shortage of vaccines.

Most countries have loosened restrictions and WHO says pre-pandemic social gatherings have resurfaced, threatening the fight against the coronavirus.

Several countries have seen a surge in new infections in Europe: 

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus says, “More than 60% of COVID-19 cases were in Europe, resulting in unsustainable pressure on the healthcare system and leaving healthcare workers exhausted and many countries thought vaccines ended COVID-19.”

The WHO head says vaccines save lives, but people mustn’t lower their guard.

“We cannot say this clearly enough. Even if you are vaccinated, continue to take precautions and wear masks and not go to big crowds.”

WHO has cautioned people as the festive season is approaching.

WHO Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Dr Maria Van Kerkhove says, “During this holiday period, it’s important that all of us continue to take measures to keep our loved one safe please get vaccinated when it is your turn.”

Meanwhile, the world health body is still concerned about regions where the vaccination rate is still low like in Africa.

It’s vowed to continue to push for more countries to get doses.