The institution calls on states to take “targeted and proportionate” measures to stop the rise in cases and mortality, but believes that schools must remain open “to the end” and be closed only as a last resort, Hans Kluge said in a statement. interview given to AFP and taken over by news.ro.

“We are seeing an explosion” of infections – with “a million new cases in just a few days” in Europe – and we are seeing a “slow rise in mortality,” said Hans Kluge.

“We can’t relax,” and “this is going to be a difficult time, we have to be honest,” he warned.

The WHO’s European area, which includes 53 countries, including Russia, has seen more than 11.8 million cases and nearly 295,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

In the last seven days, almost 1.8 million new cases have been registered, as well as 19,500 deaths.

According to WHO estimates, “with widespread mask wear and strict assembly control, we can save 261,000 lives in Europe from now until February.”

“The status quo is not an option” and the UN organization calls on states to “target and proportionate” measures. But schools must remain open “to the end” and be closed only as a last resort, Kluge said.

“There is no reason to say that schools are the main vectors of transmission,” said the German doctor. “We need to keep schools open to the end, because we can’t afford a generation lost because of COVID-19,” he insisted.