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Covid deaths in Europe pass one million

More than one million people in Europe have now died of coronavirus, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A top official from the WHO said the situation remains “serious” across the continent, with around 1.6 million new cases reported each week.

Nearly three million deaths have been linked to Covid-19 worldwide, with the Americas hardest hit, followed by Europe, according to data from John Hopkins University.

The United States, Brazil and Mexico have reported the highest number of deaths, collectively at more than 1.1 million.

Speaking to reporters on a visit to Greece, Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said there were “early signs that transmission may be slowing across several countries” and cited “declining incidence” among the oldest people.

He said the proportion of deaths among people over 80, who have been prioritised for vaccines, had dropped to nearly 30 per cent – the lowest level in the pandemic.

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Addressing recent concerns about vaccine safety, Dr Kluge said the risk of blood clots was far higher for infected people than those who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He was speaking as France neared a death toll of 100,000, which it is expected to pass on Thursday.