WHO warns of alarming COVID-19 transmission across Europe

GENEVA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned about alarming rates of transmission of coronavirus cases across Europe and advised against even a slight reduction in the length of the quarantine.

Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, the WHO’s European director Dr Hans Kluge said that the number of coronavirus cases seen in September should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.

“Although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region,” he told an online press conference from Danish capital Copenhagen.

He further said, “Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March. Last week, the region’s weekly tally exceeded 300,000 patients.”

“More than half of European countries have reported a greater-than-10% increase in cases in the past two weeks. Of those, seven countries have seen newly reported cases increase more than two-fold in the same period,” he added.

On the occasion, WHO Europe’s senior emergency officer Catherine Smallwood said that WHO would not change its guidance calling for a 14-day quarantine period for anyone exposed to the novel coronavirus.

“Our quarantine recommendation has been based on our understanding of the incubation period and COVID-19 transmission. We would only revise that on the basis of a change of our understanding of the science,” he added.  

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