WHO: Without constant pressure, coronavirus keeps coming back

WHO expert Michael Ryan is concerned about the rising number of infections. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / KEYSTONE / dpa

© Fabrice Coffrini

In many European countries, the number of corona infections is rising sharply again. “If you take the pressure off this virus, the virus comes back,” warns the WHO.

Geneva (dpa) – According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there will be increasing corona numbers until further notice.

“You can call it a second wave, you can call it a second spike, you can call it a flare-up, you can call it what you want – if you take the pressure off this virus, the virus comes back,” said WHO expert Michael Ryan in Geneva. “I know people don’t want to hear that, but that’s the reality.” It is extraordinarily difficult to stop the virus.

In several European countries, the number of infections has recently risen again, which has raised concerns in many places about another rapid increase in the number of cases. The task, according to Ryan, is to quickly contain outbreak after outbreak through tracking, testing and local measures, thus avoiding further national lockdowns like the one in spring. “This is what we say to the countries in Europe: leave the pressure on the virus,” said Ryan.

WHO expert Maria van Kerkhove recalled the central importance of large crowds in the spread of the pathogen. “The virus loves such clusters.”

The WHO expects the 20 million infected mark to cross this week. According to official data, more than 720,000 patients have died with or from Covid-19. However, experts estimate the number of unreported infections and deaths to be high.

The increase in the number of confirmed new infections is due on the one hand to the increase in tests, but also to the relaxation of corona measures – this is the conclusion of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in its latest Risk assessment for the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) plus Great Britain.

Many states are now testing mild suspected cases with no symptoms, which is contributing to the increase in the number of cases, said the center in Solna near Stockholm. On the other hand, there is “a real resurgence of cases” in some countries, which is a consequence of the fact that the measures to keep distance have been relaxed.

Further increases in the number of infections and the associated hospital stays and deaths could be reduced by reintroducing or strengthening sufficient control measures in good time. At the same time, it is natural that people have become less careful when observing the measures. This must be counteracted with the right communication.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200810-99-113884 / 3

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