WHO Predicts Third COVID Wave For Europe

WHO Predicts Third COVID Wave For Europe if Sufficient Precautions are Not Taken.

A World Health Organization (WHO) special COVID-19 envoy has predicted that a third wave of the pandemic in Europe will occur in early 2021 if the governments repeat what he said was a failure to do what is needed to prevent the second wave of infections.

“They missed building up the necessary infrastructure during the summer months after they brought the first wave under the control,” the WHO’s David Nabarro said in an interview with Swiss newspapers. “Now we have the second wave. If they don’t build the necessary infrastructure, we’ll have a third wave early next year,” said Nabarro, a Briton who campaigned unsuccessfully to become the WHO director-general in 2017.

Until recently, Europe had briefly enjoyed sinking infection rates that are now surging again. Germany and France on Saturday, November 21, saw cases rise by 33,000 combined, Switzerland and Austria have thousands of cases daily, while Turkey reported a record rise of 5,532 new infections.

Skiing, Under what conditions? says Nabarro

Nabarro singled out Switzerland’s move to allow skiing – with masks required in gondolas – as other Alpine nations like Austria have shuttered resorts. Nabarro said Switzerland could reach a “very high level of sicknesses and deaths”.

“Once the infection rates sink, and they will sink, then we can be as free as we want,” Nabarro was quoted as saying by the Solothurner Zeitung. “But right now? Should ski resorts open? Under what conditions?”

Asia’s numbers relatively low

A major problem, Nabarro added, was that too few political decision-makers understood that the virus was spreading exponentially rather arithmetically. “Exponential means, the numbers could rise 8 times in a week, 40 times in two weeks, 300 times in three weeks, over 1,000 times in four weeks, and so on,” he said.

In Asia, meanwhile, the numbers are relatively low because “people are fully engaged, they take on behaviours that make it difficult for the virus,” said Nabarro. “They keep their distance, wear masks, isolate when they’re sick, wash hands and surfaces. They protect the most endangered groups.”

Nabarro also said Asia did not relax restrictions prematurely. “You must wait until case numbers are low and stay low,” he said. “Europe’s reaction was incomplete.” He also praised the communication between authorities in Asia and Europe. “They just have one message: If we want our economy to be strong and for us to keep our freedoms, we all have to stick to a few basic things.”

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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