(ANSA) - BELGRADE, JUNE 29 - Large areas of the Balkans, which had been relatively spared during the first wave of the virus in the spring, are now top of Europe's worst affected-countries list, due to the increase in new cases. The number of infections is also increasing in countries that had managed to stem the epidemic, such as Czechia. Figures that remain worrying in several countries in the region, from Ukraine to Belarus, passing through Moldova and Romania. The official death toll is still far lower than that recorded in the most affected western European countries, including Italy. Belarus is now at the top of the list of countries with the highest number of infections per million inhabitants in the area, (almost 6,500 cases per million inhabitants, ANSA elaboration on data collected by WHO, updated yesterday), a country that since the outbreak of the emergency has underestimated the danger. Among the worst affected countries, Moldova (about 4,028 cases per million), with more overall infections in relation to its population than Italy (3,973), followed by North Macedonia (2933), which for weeks has witnessed an increase in infections. High numbers, in terms of the total number of infections since the beginning of the epidemic, were also recorded in Germany (2,330 per million), Serbia (2,017) and Austria (1,980), whereas those that seem to have better curbed the spread of infections since February are Greece (314) and Slovakia (305). The ranking of countries with the highest number of virus-related deaths per million inhabitants is led by North Macedonia (137 deaths per million inhabitants), followed by Moldova (132), Germany (108), Romania (83), Austria ( 79), Hungary (59) and Slovenia (54), but all these countries are very far from the numbers of Italy (574 per million), Spain (606) or the United Kingdom (641), 0but generally from the average of Western European countries. There have been 17,380 deaths in the area so far (+88), of which 8,961 in Germany, 1,612 in Romania, 1,438 in Poland, 1,147 in Ukraine, 702 in Austria, 581 in Hungary, 533 in Moldova, 383 in Belarus, 348 in Czechia, 286 in North Macedonia, 270 in Serbia, 219 in Bulgaria, below 200 in all other countries in the area. Concerns are also growing in Croatia, a tourist destination for visitors from Central Europe and also from Italy. The country has experienced an upsurge in infections in the last ten days. According to ANSA data, the increase in total cases from 22 to 29 June was 32.9% in Montenegro, a country that had proclaimed the end of the epidemic on June 2. Infections are also increasing in Kosovo (up 23.9%), Albania (up 23.6%), Bulgaria (up 20.1%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (up 19.7%), North Macedonia (up 19, 3%), Ukraine (up 17.2%), Croatia (up 16.1%), Moldova (up 14.4%), Czechia (up 10.5%) and Serbia (up 8.9%), while the situation appears to be under control in Estonia, Latvia, Hungary and Lithuania. In the region, the largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases since the outbreak has been recorded in Germany (193,761, +262 in the last 24 hours, updated on 29 June), followed by Belarus (61,475, +380), Ukraine (43,628, +646), Poland (33,907, +193), Romania (26,313, +291), Austria (17,625, +63), Moldova (16,250, +170), Serbia (14,046, +254) and Czechia (11,603 , +305). Followed by North Macedonia (6,092, +186), Bulgaria (4,691, +66), Hungary (4,142, +4), Bosnia (4,107, DNR), Greece (3,376, +10), Croatia (2,691, +67), Kosovo (2634, +87), Albania (2,466, +64), Estonia (1,987, +1), Lithuania (1,816, +3), Slovakia (1,664, +7), Slovenia (1,581, +9 ), Latvia (+1,116) and Montenegro (481, +37). (ANSA).