By Tony Winterburn • 10 January 2021 • 10:16
The WHO Steps In To Help Intensify Measures Against The New Covid Variant.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said the continent was at a “tipping point,” as cases surge and new strains of the COVID-19 virus come to light.
“This is an alarming situation, which means that for a short period of time we need to do more than we have done and to intensify the public health and social measures to be certain we can flatten the steep vertical line in some countries,” Kluge said, primarily referring to the new variant discovered in the UK.
Europe needs to do more to slow the spread of the recently discovered, more transmissible variant of coronavirus, the UN health body has said. It also urged flexibility over vaccine doses- the UK led other EU countries by being the first to leave a 12 week period between doses, thereby enabling millions more to be vaccinated.
Last year, more than 26 million cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the WHO European Region, which comprises 53 countries. Over a quarter of States are seeing a very high incidence of the disease and strained health systems. Currently, more than 230 million people are living in countries under full national lockdown, and more governments are expected to announce lockdowns in the coming week.
Dr Kluge said the impact of the recent holiday period, characterized by family gatherings and the relaxing of preventive measures such as physical distancing and wearing masks, cannot yet be determined.
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