The World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe Thursday warned of “alarming rates” of coronavirus transmission across the region with the greatest proportion of new cases coming among young and middle-aged adults, according to media reports.
- Weekly cases in Europe have "have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March," Dr. Hans Kluge said, according to CNN.
- More than half of European nations have reported an increase of more than 10% in new cases in the past two weeks, according to CNN and “of those, seven countries have seen newly reported cases increase more than two-fold in the same period," Kluge added.
- Kluge said that more comprehensive testing has contributed to the increase, but that “it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region,” adding that the biggest proportion of new cases is among 25- to 49-year-olds.
The WHO admonition comes as cases rise in India, No. 2 in case counts, to more than 5.1 million and the United States — the world leader in coronavirus cases — edges closer to 200,000 deaths. India has the fastest-growing new rate of infection in the world, causing some to predict India eventually will overtake the U.S., which had 6.6 million cases Thursday, according to The Guardian.
As Covid-19 infections spike, European governments are imposing strict local measures and weighing further lockdowns in a bid to halt a second wave of the pandemic, according to media reports. Authorities in Germany have declared Austria's capital a high-risk coronavirus zone, after an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Vienna, according to Schengen Visa Info News. Also a ban on large gatherings in Germany has been extended to the end of the year, according to the BBC. Croatia’s national Covid-19 response team is extending border crossing restrictions introduced in mid-July, after a lockdown period, until September 30. And because of high transmission rates in the United States, the European Union, Canada and Thailand remain among the regions off limits to those traveling from the U.S.