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WHO Regional Director for Europe warns against complacency as COVID-19 cases rise

The head of the WHO European regional office reminded that a recent increase in the weekly number of new Covid-19 cases in Europe has become a reminder of a necessity to continue efforts .

“Last week, Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months,” Hans Kluge of the Copenhagen-based agency said, noting 30 countries had increased over the past two weeks.

Kluge pointed out that “While the European Region is reporting a decreasing proportion of global cases than earlier in the year, the Region continues to report close to 20,000 new cases and over 700 new deaths daily.”

The WHO European region consists of 53 countries. It was reported about 2.5 million cases in total.

He stated: “We are still in the first wave (of infection) in many countries” and added there was a need to get ready for the fall period since the virus was “actively circulating.”

Kluge highly appreciated “quick and targeted” reaction of Poland, Germany, Spain and Israel to recent “dangerous outbreaks of COVID-19 associated with schools, coal mines and food production settings.”

He also focused on ways of use digital technology for contact tracing as part of measures to tackle the virus and reduce transmissions, noting solutions used in 27 countries including Austria, Georgia and North Macedonia.

However, the use of digital technologies “must consider the privacy and security of individuals and their data,” Kluge said.

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