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Europe nears 1M COVID-19 cases, coming weeks ‘Critical’ warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns Europe on lifting lockdowns as confirmed COVID-19 cases across Europe nears to 1 million.

One of the countries terrifically hit by the COVID-19 is Italy, which recorded almost 1 million positive cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) also confirms that the pandemic has topped the 2 million mark worldwide cases.

According to Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker, coronavirus cases across the globe stands at around 2,056,055 and at least 134,178 people have died. As of April 16, 2020, total cases in Europe listed  995,375 cases, almost half of what is recorded worldwide. 

According to WHO, Europe must consider easing lockdowns. “Case numbers across the region continue to climb. In the past 10 days, the number of cases reported in Europe has nearly doubled to close to 1 million,” said Hans Kluge, WHO’s European director.

Spain has the highest number of confirmed cases in Europe with 177,633, followed by Italy with 165,155 cases. Across the whole of Europe, the coronavirus has so far been responsible for 89,160 confirmed deaths.

“The storm clouds of this pandemic still hang heavily over the European region,” added Kluge.

Kluge, seeing the situation Europe is facing right now, said the coming weeks are critical. As some of the countries start to consider lifting the lockdown, countries in Europe are beginning to think about how to ease some societal restrictions.

People are rightly asking: How much do we have to endure? And for how long? In response, we, governments, and health authorities must come up with answers to identify when, under what conditions and how we can consider a safe transition,” said Kluge.

He also talked about lifting lockdown measures, including evidence that a country’s COVID-19 transmission is being controlled, outbreak risks are minimised, and that health systems have the capacity to identify, test, trace and isolate COVID-19 cases.

Furthermore, Kluge said, “We remain in the eye of the storm…If you cannot ensure these criteria are in place before easing restrictions, I urge you to re-think,” he said, adding: “There is no fast track back to normal.”