The World Health Organization (WHO) warned this Thursday of the “exponential growth” of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe and said that this situation causes “concern”, although the virus is causing fewer deaths than in the first wave.
The director for Europe of the WHO, Hans Kluge, said that the increase in cases registered in several countries of the continent does not mean, however, that a “dark phase” has been entered in the evolution of the pandemic and that there is time to Act.
“The virus has not changed, it is neither more nor less dangerous” than when the largest increases in cases were recorded in March, Kluge added in a virtual press conference.
Asked if a new confinement or partial closures of activities would be recommended instruments to combat the new wave of Covid-19 in Europe, Kluge said that the situation now is different from that experienced during the European spring.
“Today would be different, it would be a staggered increase in specific and temporary measures and trying to minimize collateral damage to the economy and society“added the head of the WHO.
It specified that these measures must also take into account their consequences to prevent the recurrence of mental health or domestic violence problems and advocated trying to keep schools open.
“It is time to increase measures,” insisted Kluge, who indicated that those that are put into practice will have to take into account both the “national” and “sub-national” situations.
He also referred to the effectiveness that has shown against the expansion of the pandemic generalization of the use of chinstraps and control of social gatherings.
“They are appropriate and necessary responses to what the figures tell us: the transmission and origin of infections occurs in homes and in closed public places and among people who do not respect self-protection measures,” he said.
Kluge insisted that it is “key” that restrictive measures are applied and that the objectives that the responsible authorities have to set must be “precise and limited in time.”
“The message to governments is that concrete measures must be taken to avoid having to walk the painful spring road again,” Kluge added.
He recalled that restrictive measures are being applied throughout the continent and that this is “good” because it is “absolutely necessary”: “they are appropriate and necessary responses from what the data tells us, that the transmission and sources of contagion are in homes and in closed public places. ”
The official stressed that the cases are being detected “in communities that do not comply with self-protection measures. So what we need is not to give in on what affects the calls for better self-protection and restriction in relation to large agglomerations.” .
According to data released this Thursday by the WHO, the European region has registered in recent days the highest weekly incidence of Covd-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with almost 700,000.
Kluge stressed that the total number of cases has gone from 6 to 7 million “in just ten days” and that during the past weekend new records were reached, exceeding 120,000 cases in a single day, both on October 9 and 10.
The person in charge of the WHO cited “technical reasons” to observe a higher daily incidence, among which he mentioned the fact that more tests are carried out and that these result in a greater number of cases among younger people.
Source: EFE and AFP