Europe has recorded more than 2.5 million cases of coronavirus after a “significant resurgence” after many blockades were lifted, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
“Last week, Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months,” WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said of alarming data after many nations lifted the blockades.
“Thirty countries have seen increases in new cases accumulated in the past two weeks,” he said, without detailing specific examples.
“In 11 of these countries, accelerated transmission has led to a very significant resurgence that, if left unchecked, will push health systems to the brink once again in Europe,” he warned.
While the continent appeared to have overcome the worst of the pandemic, there are still “about 20,000 new cases and more than 700 new deaths a day,” Kluge said.
“For weeks I have talked about the risk of resurgence as countries adjust the measures,” he said of the reduction of previous blockades and the strict measures of social distancing.
Praising the new technology for aiding tracking efforts, Kluge warned that he had also “exposed us to an information tsunami” and “raised many problems related to data protection and privacy.”
“Fundamental human and gender rights must be preserved in digital environments and must not be forgiven in times of a pandemic,” he said.
“It is the responsibility of governments to address the ownership, use, consent and protection of data.”
According to Johns Hopkins University data, as of Thursday morning, nearly 9.5 million confirmed cases had been reported worldwide, with at least 483,311 deaths.