The World Health Organization has said it is worried about the spread of Covid-19 in Europe as the continent battles a fresh wave of infections. Speaking to a news channel, regional director Dr Hans Kluge warned that 500,000 more deaths could be recorded by March unless urgent action is taken. He said an increase in mask wearing could immediately help besides getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and using Covid passes.

Meanwhile, fresh unrest has erupted in the Netherlands against new lockdown rules amid rising Covid-19 cases. The Netherlands imposed a three-week partial lockdown last Saturday after recording a record spike in Covid cases.

Thousands of demonstrators also took to the streets in Austria, Croatia and Italy as anger mounted over new curbs.

Tens of thousands of people protested in Austria’s capital Vienna after the government announced a new national lockdown and plans to make jabs compulsory in February 2022.

In Croatia, thousands marched in the capital Zagreb to show their anger at mandatory vaccinations for public sector workers, while in Italy, thousands of protesters gathered at the ancient Circus Maximus chariot-racing ground to oppose Green Pass certificates required at workplaces, venues and on public transport.