The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe, Hans Kluge, said this Thursday that the projections for the situation of the public health crisis in Europe “are not optimistic”, calling on governments to quickly strengthen control and restrictions if they want to ‘save lives’, advances ‘Reuters’.
According to the official, the imposition of stricter measures to contain the contagion of COVID-19 could save hundreds of thousands of lives across Europe, at a time when the continent is facing an exponential increase in infections, since now «more than ever , Europe lives in a pandemic ”.
New infections are reaching 100,000 a day in Europe, and the region has just recorded the highest weekly incidence of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, with almost 700,000 infections reported, according to Kluge.
“Autumn and the gradual appearance of winter in Europe has led to exponential increases in daily cases and hospital admissions and the limit of two thousand daily deaths has been exceeded,” said the official at an online press conference, adding that the virus is now the fifth cause of death.
For the specialist «it is time to intensify (the restrictions). The message for governments is: do not stop with relatively small actions to avoid the painful and damaging measures that we saw in the first wave (in March and April) ».
More than 38 million people worldwide are infected with COVID-19, and 1.1 million have died. Kluge cited projections of what he described as “reliable epidemiological models” and said that they “are not optimistic” for the European region.
“These models indicate that prolonged relaxation policies can boost – until January 2021 – daily mortality at levels four to five times higher than those recorded in April,” warned the WHO director for Europe.
Taking simple and quick restrictive measures now – such as imposing widespread use of masks and controlling social gatherings 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.