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    WHO expects high levels of Covid-19 this summer in Europe

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    The World Health Organization (WHO) told AFP on Thursday to expect “high levels” of Covid-19 this summer in Europe and called for monitoring the virus closely after a tripling of daily cases for a month. “As countries across Europe have lifted the social measures that were in place, the virus will circulate at high levels over the summer,” said the organization’s Europe director. UN, Hans Kluge.

    The death toll currently at a low level

    “The virus is not going to disappear just because countries stop monitoring it. It continues to contaminate, it continues to change and it still kills,” he said in a written statement to AFP. Driven by the Omicron BA.5 sub-variant, the number of cases in the fifty or so countries of the WHO Europe zone approached 500,000 daily this week, while it was around 150,000 per day at the end of May. , according to public data from the organization.

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    After having around 4,000 to 5,000 deaths per day for a good part of the winter, the number of deaths currently remains at a low level of around 500, i.e. its level in the summer of 2020. Almost all European countries are showing rising cases, with Portugal, Luxembourg, France, Greece, Cyprus, Germany and Austria currently leading the way with the highest incidence.

    WHO calls for self-isolation in case of respiratory symptoms

    “We hope that the extensive vaccination programs that most member states have in place, as well as past infections, will mean that we will avoid the most serious consequences that we saw earlier in the pandemic,” said Hans Kluge. “Nevertheless, our recommendations remain in place,” he said.

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    The WHO calls on Europeans to continue to self-isolate if they have respiratory symptoms, to check that their vaccinations are up to date and to wear a mask in crowded places. “We must continue to track the virus because not doing so makes us increasingly blind to the modes of transmission and (its) evolution,” said the director of WHO Europe.

    Hans Kluge also called on member states to further increase their level of vaccination. “High population immunity and choices made to reduce risk for older adults will be key to preventing additional mortality this summer,” he said.

    Source: Europe1

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