With an explosion of new cases of covid-19 across Europe, WHO warns that governments in the Old Continent will immediately adopt new restrictive measures. According to the agency, if such initiatives are implemented, about 281 thousand lives could be saved by January 2021.
But if nothing is done, death rates can multiply by four or five times compared to the numbers recorded in April.
The appeal comes at a time when France, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany and other countries are expanding restrictions on movement and controls.
According to the WHO, Europe is experiencing an “exponential growth” of the disease. “This is a situation of great concern,” said Hans Kluge, WHO’s head for Europe. According to him, covid-19 is already the fifth biggest factor responsible for deaths and, in the world, about 8 thousand people have lost their lives.
The agency estimates that the past week recorded a record number of new cases in Europe, with 700,000 people infected. In ten days, there were 1 million new contaminants, with 120 thousand only on October 9 and 10.
For WHO, rates of new cases are twice as high as in April. But the death toll is only a fifth of what has occurred.
The risk, however, is that this new wave of cases will be transferred once again into the home and to older groups.
“The projections are not the most optimistic,” admitted Kluge. According to him, if governments do not act and let the virus circulate, Europe will have, in January 2021, a mortality rate four or five times higher than in April.
None of this, however, needs to occur. “If measures are adopted, 281,000 lives can be saved by January,” he warned.
According to the WHO, the measures include the widespread use of masks by everyone, the return of homework and the end of agglomerations. “If this is done, we will have results in a few weeks,” said Kluge.
For WHO, these measures need not be a total lockdown. “Confinement as we had in April is the last option,” said Kluge.
The agency, for example, suggests that schools continue to function and that “sacrifices” be made in other segments of society. Only if there is no more option should the school close again.