A NEW study has revealed Europe could face ...300,000 deaths and one million people in hospital... as Covid wreaks havoc across the continent this winter.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine study warned that 280,000 people alone could end up in hospital in Germany as Europe faces down the barrel of a new wave of Covid lockdowns.

EPAScientists have warned the Covid death toll in Europe could reach an additional 300,000 this winter '/ '

GettyThe report warned countries with low vaccination rates and an elderly population faced an onslaught of cases '/ '

Covid cases are surging in Europe

The authors also warned death and hospitalisation rates could rapidly rise in Europe if Covid restrictions aren't tightened further.

It comes as Austria entered into a nationwide lockdown on Friday after Covid cases surged to a new high and the Netherlands introduced a partial three-week lockdown.

Germany, Czech Republic have also placed new curbs on its unvaccinated population as the cold weather forces people indoors.

Meanwhile, Europe as a whole accounted for more than half of the seven-day average of infections globally and at least half of the latest Covid deaths, according to a tally by Reuters.

Sheryl Chand, an infectious-disease modeller from the University of Sydney, said: ...The numbers are shocking and they may or may not happen, but people need to be aware that COVID-19 isn’t over....

Researchers collected data on Covid deaths across a range of age groups in 19 European countries and estimated the total number of people who had been infected in each nation by early November 2021.

This figure, along with vaccination rates, was used to calculate the share of people who don't have Covid immunity because they either haven't had both jabs or haven't been infected by the virus.

The report's authors stressed this was a ...worst-case scenario... that looked at what would happen if governments across Europe relaxed all Covid restrictions and allowed people to mingle at pre-pandemic levels.

The study, which was published on MedRxiv and is yet to be peer reviewed, also took into account people at risk despite having already been exposed to Covid or who have already had their vaccination.

Countries with low vaccination rates could bear the brunt of a new Covid wave, the authors warn, along with the elderly.

For example, eight in every 1,000 people in Romania, where jab rates are dangerously low, could end up in hospital compared with fewer than one per 1,000 in England.

It also claims that around 280,000 people in Germany could end up in ICU wards, compared to 6,300 in Denmark.

The finding is also a chilling warning that countries with high vaccination coverage can still experience huge waves of hospitalisations and deaths, Lloyd Champan, a researcher on the study, said.

He said the numbers were ...very much the upper limit of what could occur....

However, the study did not take into account what would happen if a new, more infectious variant emerged or the effects of waning immunity over time, researchers said.

It comes as more European nations face a new wave of lockdowns due to a surge in Covid cases.

On Friday, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced his country would go into a lockdown from Monday as cases soar and bodies pile up in hospital corridors.

...Despite months of persuasion, we have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated,... Schallenberg told a press conference and blamed those refusing to get jabbed for an ...attack on the health system....

...Whipped up by radical anti-vaxxers, by fake news, too many among us didn't get vaccinated. The results are overcrowded intensive care units and enormous suffering,... he added.

...We do not want a fifth wave. Nor do we want a sixth or seventh wave. This is very painful....

Schallenberg said the lockdown would run for a ...maximum of 20 days... while Austrians will be required to have both jabs by February 1.

Austria registered 15,145 new Covid cases on Thursday, far higher than last November's peak of 9,586 confirmed cases.

Covid rates have been rapidly rising in recent weeks as the country grapples with one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe - roughly 66 per cent - and among the highest infection rates with a seven-day average of 990.7 per 100,000 people in the past week.

Experts warn the death toll could reach 2,000 by the end of this week, according to Kronen Zeitung.

It comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel slapped fresh curbs on public life for unvaccinated people in areas where hospital beds are filling up fast with Covid patients while Belgium's Prime Minister said the continent was on ...red alert....

Meanwhile, Greece has imposed more restrictions on unvaccinated people and barred them from all indoor spaces following a recent surge in cases.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, there have been 21.2 million Covid cases in the EU and more than 275,000 deaths since the pandemic began in 2019.

In the last 14 days, the region registered 2.6million cases and 22,820 deaths.

Germany topped the list with 575,923 infections and 2,547 deaths between November 4 and November 18, followed by Poland at 234,685 cases and 2,849 deaths.

Meanwhile, Romania clocked the highest number of deaths at 5,228 from 78,886 infections.

Europe is staring down the barrel of a new wave of Covid lockdowns

ReutersAustria will enter into a national lockdown from Monday '/ '


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