The European director of this organization said that the region of 53 countries that make up Europe under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) said they had hit a record for the number of COVID-19 infections with 1 , 5 million new infections last week.
According to the Associated Press, there have been more than 10 million confirmed cases since the pandemic broke out this year.
“Europe is the epicenter of this pandemic once again,” said WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said during a meeting with European health ministers, according to the AP. “In the face of the danger of alarming, I must express our real concern.”;
Kluge said that the number of deaths rose more than 30% in the past week and that hospital admissions have reached their highest level since spring, the AP reported.
“The positivity of testing has reached new highs,” said Kluge, explaining that the test systems were unable to keep up with the flow.
In addition to what is generally considered part of Europe, the WHO’s European region includes Russia as well as Central Asian countries such as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan with a total of 53 countries, according to the AP.
Despite the rise in cases, Kluge said nationwide door locks should be seen as the last resort. He cites economic damage and mental health effects as his reasons behind keeping nations open.
Several European countries have begun implementing restrictions to curb the spread of the virus including Germany, Ireland and France, all of which have shut down.
Kluge warned last month that the increase in infections was even faster than in March should “be a warning”.