The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, on Thursday expressed concerns over the COVID-19 surge in Europe.
Kluge said that weekly cases now exceeded those reported during the March peak of the pandemic that should serve as a “wake-up call”.
“We do have a very serious situation unfolding before us.
“Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March,’’ Kluge said at a briefing.
Kluge expressed concern about all 53 European member states, adding that everybody should learn the lesson from the first wave of COVID-19, which is “no one is safe until everyone is safe’’.
“Last week, the region’s weekly tally exceeded 300,000 patients.
“More than half of European countries have reported a greater than 10 per cent increase in cases in the past two weeks.
“Of those, seven countries have seen newly reported cases increase more than two-fold in the same period.’’
He noted that some countries that coped well with the first wave of the pandemic are now being hit much worse.
The WHO official noted that Europe’s stringent public health measures paid off, with June COVID-19 cases hitting all-time low.
“The September case numbers, however, should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.
“Although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region,’’ Kluge warned.
The WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11.
To date, more than 29.8 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 940,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.