WHO warns 'alarming rates of transmission' in Europe as UK imposes restrictions in northeast England

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Sep 17, 2020, 06:46 PM IST


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The 53 member states of WHO Europe have recorded nearly five million cases of Covid-19 and more than 227,000 related deaths

World Health Organisation's(WHO) Europe unit warned countries in Europe against shortening the 14-day quarantine period for suspected coronavirus cases as, it said, COVID-19 has seen "alarming rates of transmission across Europe".

The WHO's regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said the number of coronavirus cases seen in September "should serve as a wake-up call for all of us."

"Although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region," he told an online press conference from Danish capital Copenhagen.

WHO has said that it will not change its guidance that calls for 14-day quarantine period for anyone exposed to coronavirus.

France has reduced the recommended length for self-isolation has been reduced to seven days. In UK and Ireland the recommended number of days for isolation is 10.

"Our quarantine recommendation of 14 days has been based on our understanding of the incubation period and transmission of the disease. We would only revise that on the basis of a change of our understanding of the science," WHO Europe's senior emergency officer Catherine Smallwood said.

The 53 member states of WHO Europe have recorded nearly five million cases of Covid-19 and more than 227,000 related deaths, according to the organisation's own figures.

The number of daily cases recorded is currently between 40,000 and 50,000, comparable to a daily peak of 43,000 on April 1 -- although testing in many countries has increased considerably.

COVID-19 restrictions to be tightened in England

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday that restrictions would be tightened in northeast England from Friday.

The step is being taken to stem the rise of new coronavirus cases. Hancock told Parliament that residents would be banned from socialising with others outside their households or support bubbles. He said there would be table service only in restaurants and bars and that leisure venues needed to close between 10pm and 5am.

(With inputs from AFP)