The European head of the World Health Organization said efforts need to be stepped up to deal with the alarming situation brought on by a recently discovered variant of Covid-19.
Speaking at a press conference, the WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge, called the current situation “a tipping-point in the course of the pandemic,” as Europe was both challenged by surging cases and new strains of the virus.
“This is an alarming situation, which means that for a short period of time we need to do more than we have done and to intensify the public health and social measures to be certain we can flatten the steep vertical line in some countries,” Kluge said, referring primarily to the new variant first discovered in the UK.
While it is natural for viruses to change over time and the variant is not believed to cause more severe symptoms, its “increased transmissibility,” means it is still raises concern, according to WHO Europe.
“Without increased control to slow its spread, there will be an increased impact on already stressed and pressurised health facilities,” Kluge said.
The measures proposed by Kluge were those “with which we are all familiar,” listing the adherence to generalised mask wearing, limiting social gatherings, maintaining physical distance and hand washing as prudent but in need of being intensified.