Coronavirus: Europe faces 'six tough months' of pandemic, World Health Organization says

Cheryl Sanders
November 21, 2020

He stated that the 53 countries that make up the WHO's European region have recorded 355,000 deaths.

The latest weekly tally from the U.N. health agency found that the 54 nations it classifies as part of Europe accounted for 46% of new cases.

Hans Kluge, the WHO's Europe director, said the continent recorded more than 29,000 new Covid-19 deaths last week.

WHO's Americas region registered a 41 per cent increase in new cases, suggesting that a higher weekly death toll could soon follow there.

On Tuesday, the pandemic claimed 1,596 lives in the United States, more than on any single day since 27 July, contributing to a total of 248,898 confirmed deaths since the pandemic began.

In the German capital of Berlin, violent clashes between those protesting coronavirus restrictions and police erupted on Wednesday near the city centre after protesters disregarded authorities' advice to wear masks and physically distance.

Southeast Asia was the only region that recorded a drop in cases and deaths.

The Alpine country counted over 6,000 new cases over the last day, down from a peak of more than 10,000 daily cases in October. More than 55 million people have since contracted the disease.

Belgium - which at one point recently had Europe's highest infection rate - said Wednesday it had taken a major step in containing the resurgence of the coronavirus. "I stand by my position that lockdowns are a last resort measure", he said at a news conference in Denmark according to CNN.

While it took the region almost nine months to record its first 5 million cases, the next 10 million cases were reported in less than two months, according to a Reuters analysis.

Even as cases fall, the picture across Europe is still bleak, the World Health Organization regional chief told the briefing.

There are regions within WesternEurope that seem to be overcoming the crisis, particularly the lowlands near the English Channel. Hospitalizations have fallen by 24% and the number of new infections has fallen by 39%.

"Many countries are going through this wave, and they're going to go through this wave, and continue through this wave, without vaccines, Ryan said, adding, "We need to understand and internalise that, and realise: we have got to climb this mountain this time, without vaccines".

In Holland, authorities were lifting restrictions by registering a decrease in the rate of infections.

Other reports by iNewsToday