(Updates to show 20 million figure reached)
Oct 24 (Reuters) - The number of coronavirus infections
recorded so far in eastern Europe surpassed 20 million on
Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, as the region grapples
with its worst outbreak since the pandemic started and
inoculation efforts lag.
Countries in the region have the lowest vaccination rates https://tmsnrt.rs/3tUM8ta
in Europe, with less than half of the population having
received a single dose.
Hungary tops the region's vaccination rates with 62% of its
population having gotten at least one shot, whereas Ukraine has
given just 19% of its residents a single dose, according to Our
World in Data.
New infections in the region have steadily risen and now
average over 83,700 new cases per day, the highest level since
November last year, Reuters data through Friday showed. Although
it has just 4% of the world's population, eastern Europe
accounts for roughly 20% of all new cases reported globally https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi.
According to a Reuters analysis, three of the top five
countries reporting the most deaths in the world are in eastern
Europe - Russia, Ukraine and Romania.
More social gathering indoors after the lifting of
restrictions just as winter sets in is driving a rise in
COVID-19 infections in many countries across Europe, the World
Health Organization's emergency director Mike Ryan said on
As the wave of infections intensifies, many people in
eastern Europe are torn between defiance and regret https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/regret-defiance-europes-vaccine-shy-east-covid-19-rages-2021-10-21
over not getting vaccinated.
Hundreds have protested in Sofia and other cities against
mandatory certificates that came into force on Thursday,
limiting access to many indoor public spaces to those who have
A European Commission poll, the Eurobarometer, has shown
that at least one person in three in most countries in the
European Union's east does not trust the healthcare system,
compared to a bloc average of 18%.
More than 40% of all new cases reported in eastern Europe
were in Russia, with 120 people testing positive every five
minutes, according to a Reuters analysis. The country's
healthcare system is operating under great strain, Health
Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday. The nation on
Friday reported record COVID fatalities for the fourth straight
So far, Russia has vaccinated about 36% of its population
with one vaccine shot.
Moscow, the country's most populous city and capital, will
next week shutdown all businesses except essential stores such
as supermarkets and pharmacies to stem the spread of the
Slovakia reported 3,480 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 19, its
highest daily tally since March, health ministry data showed
Wednesday. The country has one of the lower vaccination rates in
the EU, with just over half the adult population fully
inoculated in the country of 5.5 million. This has contributed
to a faster rise in infections than in some neighboring
In Romania, hospitals are stretched to breaking point, with
emergency beds fully occupied across the country. Morgues were
also running at full capacity. The country reported record
numbers of daily coronavirus fatalities and infections on
Tuesday. The virus was killing one person every five minutes on
average this month in a country where the inoculation rate is
Ukraine registered a record daily high of new coronavirus
infections and related deaths for the second consecutive day on
Friday. It also extended a state of emergency that allows
authorities to impose curbs until year-end to rein in
(Reporting by Roshan Abraham, Shaina Ahluwalia and Rittik
Biswas in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Edwina Gibbs)