Europe must prepare for a ‘harsher’ fall with an increase in the death toll from Covid-19, a WHO official warned. Several countries are imposing new measures to counter a second wave of the pandemic which has already claimed nearly 925,000 lives.
A new daily record was reached on Sunday according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with almost 308,000 confirmed cases in 24 hours.
‘It’s going to get harder. In October, in November, we will see a higher mortality, ‘Hans Kluge, director of the European branch of the WHO, told AFP.
The number of cases in Europe has been rising sharply for several weeks, especially in Spain and France. But for now, the daily death toll remains at the level observed since early June, around 400 to 500, according to WHO Europe, which brings together around fifty member states on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the response to the pandemic.
One vaccine won’t solve everything
The UN official stressed that the development of a vaccine would not end the pandemic. ‘I hear all the time:’ the vaccine is going to be the end of the epidemic ‘. Of course not! ‘Exclaimed Mr. Kluge. However, he felt that the situation should now call for a targeted response and no longer generalized confinements.
As in England where it is now forbidden to meet more than six people from different homes. This restriction, which does not apply to other UK provinces, applies indoors and outdoors, with the exception of schools, workplaces, weddings or funerals.
On Tuesday, all meetings with friends or families will be banned in Birmingham, the second most populous city in the United Kingdom, according to a decision by local authorities. Locals can still go to cafes, restaurants or shops but cannot meet other people from different homes.
Returning to Italy
In Austria, wearing a mask, already compulsory in supermarkets and transport, became so on Monday in all shops and all public buildings. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Sunday that the country was ‘at the start of the second wave’.
Same concern in the Czech Republic, now one of the three member states of the European Union where the daily progression of the virus is the fastest, after France and Italy.
In Italy, some 5.6 million students have returned to school after six months of closure, but with strict rules: there will be immediate quarantine of those who have been ‘in close contact’ with everything student or teacher positive for the Covid-19 test.
Connect the plotting applications
Six EU countries, including Germany and Italy, have started testing an infrastructure to connect their tracking applications against the spread of the coronavirus with each other. A traveler will be able to report a positive test or receive an alert abroad.
In Israel, faced with an alarming spread of Covid-19 with 153,217 cases including 1,103 deaths, for a population of nine million inhabitants, the authorities have decided to re-impose national containment. It will come into effect from Friday for the feast of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and will end on the last day of the feast of Sukkot, around October 9.
A new partial containment (limitation of the activity of non-essential shops, closure of schools, parks and tourist attractions) also came into force on Monday in Jakarta, in the grip of a sharp worsening of the epidemic.
More than 920,000 dead
With the record of contaminations reached on Sunday, the WHO only records for the second time a number of confirmed cases (307,930) exceeding 300,000. As of September 6, the death toll had been 306,857 cases. This figure alone does not however give an exact idea of the state of the pandemic since it can be influenced by the multiplication of tests.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 924,968 (for more than 29,061,830 cases) worldwide since the WHO office in China reported the onset of the disease in late December, according to a report established by AFP on Monday.
The United States is the most affected country in terms of both deaths and cases, with 194,081 deaths for 6,520,235 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University count.