“The epidemiological evolution in Europe raises concerns. The number of daily cases is increasing, hospitalizations are increasing, and Covid is now the fifth leading cause of death in the region, killing more than 1,000 people a day, “Hans Kluge said on Thursday.
He added that the daily death toll in Europe could be higher than in the peak spring months. The simulations showed, according to Kluge, that if governments relax restrictions for any length of time, Covid’s daily deaths could rise fivefold over the peak of April to January next year.
The same simulations showed that maintaining and tightening restrictions could slow the trend. The WHO director also pointed out that there is a real potential for the epidemic to worsen if the disease spreads among the elderly and vulnerable groups, “as a result of more intense social contacts between generations”. The WHO representative for Europe said there were also reasons for optimism, as tighter controls than in the spring, introduced by many European countries this week, could save hundreds of thousands of lives.
“The systematic and widespread wearing of masks, at a rate of 95% rather than the rate of 60% today, together with strict controls on social gatherings in public or private spaces could save up to 281,000 lives by February 1.” Kluge also reported.