Imposing stricter controls to halt the spread of covid-19 could save hundreds of thousands of lives across Europe before February, now that the continent is facing an exponential rise in infections, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. (15).
In an appeal to governments to “show service” quickly in order to contain a second wave of the new coronavirus pandemic, WHO director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said the current situation is, “more than ever, a pandemic time for the region “.
New infections are reaching 100,000 a day in the region, which has just recorded the highest weekly incidence of cases of covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic: almost 700 reported.
“The fall of autumn and winter continues to unfold in Europe, with exponential increases in daily cases and equivalent percentage increases in daily deaths,” Kluge said at a virtual news conference.
“It is time to show service. The message to governments is: do not limit yourself to relatively small actions to avoid the painful and harmful actions that we saw in the first round (March and April).”
Globally, there are records of more than 38 million people infected with covid-19, and 1.1 million have died.
Kluge cited projections of what he described as “reliable epidemiological models” and said they “are not optimistic” for the European region.
But adopting simple and quick containment measures now – like forcing widespread use of masks and controlling crowds in public or private spaces – can save up to 281,000 lives by February in the 53 countries that make up the WHO European region, he added.