According to the UN health agency, COVID-19 is still responsible for over 1,000 deaths a week in the European region. However, this can be an underestimation as many countries no longer maintain proper data.
One in 30 Europeans may have developed "long COVID" in the first three years of the pandemic, the World Health Organization's (WHO) European office said on Tuesday, warning that the coronavirus has not gone away.
Since 2020, nearly 36 million people in the European region are believed to have contracted long-lasting health problems after being infected with COVID-19, the global health body said.
Addressing a press conference in Copenhagen on Tuesday, WHO regional director Hans Kluge stressed that "long COVID remains a complex condition we still know very little about."
He described the condition as a "glaring blindspot in our knowledge." To understand COVID-19 more accurately, there is much more need to be done, he added.
Still over 1,000 COVID deaths per week
Kluge also noted that without developing comprehensive diagnostics and forms of treatment, society will never truly recover from the pandemic.
According to the UN health agency, COVID-19 is still responsible for over 1,000 deaths per week in the European region. The actual number is believed to be much higher, as many countries no longer maintain proper data on deaths.
Last month, the WHO declared that COVID-19 was no longer a global health emergency. But noting the recent spikes in cases in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, the agency said that the announcement did not mean that the pandemic has ended.
"Whilst it may not be a global public health emergency, however, COVID-19 has not gone away," Kluge told the reporters.