The World Health Organization has warned of a dire situation in Europe as COVID cases continued to spike.
WHO Europe Regional Director, Hans Kluge, said on Thursday that the increase of COVID cases in Europe served as a warning of what was to come.
The news comes as countries such as France and Spain saw daily cases exceed the highest reported during the first peak in Europe. Kluge admitted as much.
Cases exceed March peak
“ Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March,” said Kluge, “Last week, the regional weekly tally exceeded 300,000 patients.”
Furthermore, he said that half of the European nations had witnessed an increase of more than 10% of new cases over the past two weeks. Seven of these countries saw newly reported cases rise over two-fold in the same time period.
Europe countries put down some of the strictest lockdowns which saw the cases drastically reduce, with many countries seeing less than tens of cases a day by May and June. However, relaxation of such measures has seen the cases spike again.
“In the spring and early summer, we were able to see the impact of strict lockdown measures. Our efforts, our sacrifices, paid off. In June cases hit an all-time low. The September case numbers, however, should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.” Kluge warned.
Younger people more infected
A big proportion of the new infections this week is among the young population, Kluge confirmed, between 25-49. That is a big change from the first week of September when most of the new infections were from those between 50-79.
France has seen a spike in cases in cities such as Bordeaux, Paris and Marseille. The country now has more than 443,000 COVID cases.
Spain has seen cases rise to more than 600,000, while England has laid down new procedures to curb the re-emerging spread of COVID.