JN / Agencies
Today at 12:11
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned this Wednesday that this is not the time to ease measures to restrict population movements, stressing that progress against the Covid-19 pandemic is still too fragile.
The European regional director of WHO, Hans Kluge, stressed that the slowdown in the increase of new cases in some of the most affected countries, such as Italy and Spain, "does not represent a victory".
In a virtual press conference from Copenhagen, he revealed that the updated figures for this Wednesday in 53 countries and territories in Europe are 687236 confirmed cases and 52824 deaths.
Seven of the 10 countries most affected by the pandemic are in the European region: Spain, Italy, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Switzerland, he said.
In Italy and Spain, "15 to 20 days" after the application of severe restrictions on the mobility of people, with the imposition of a state of emergency and confinement of people at home, "the rate of increase in new cases seems to have slowed", but it is "a fragile progress".
"This is not the time to relax measures, but to double or triple the collective effort," defended Hans Kluge, pointing to examples such as Turkey, where there has been a "dramatic increase" in new cases over the past week, "60 percent of which in the city of Istanbul ", which shows that community transmission still marks the progress of the pandemic.
"There is still a long way to go in this marathon," said the European WHO official, stressing that the relief of social restraint measures "requires careful consideration".
Essential remains the protection of the "health sector workforce", training them and ensuring that they have personal protective equipment and the "pandemic engine" attack, testing, isolating suspected or confirmed cases and following the network. contacts of infected people.
WHO consultant Bruce Aylward, who was on a mission in Spain, noted the speed with which the new coronavirus spread in that country, going from about two weeks to one to two new cases per day (at the end of February) to more than 500 cases per day.
After contacting the medical teams that attack the disease in Spain, Bruce Aylward also noted how hard the active population is affected by Covid-19, although lethality is more prevalent in the elderly.
Bruce Aylward said that in Spain "63% of people placed in intensive care are under 69".
"It is wrong to think (in covid-19) as just pneumonia," he said, indicating that patients who spent three weeks in intensive care units "need a long period of rehabilitation" because Covid-19 "has an extraordinary impact on body".
Hans Kluge called for "no one to be left behind" in the effort to stem the spread of the pandemic, highlighting vulnerable populations like the homeless, who need to be guaranteed "adequate testing, access to food and safe housing".