Hans Cluj, the World Health Organization’s director for Europe, said he was “very concerned” about another wave in Europe, but warned against imposing a national lockdown in the region.
Instead, Cluj has been using CNN. Wearing masks, together with strict control over social gatherings, could save the lives of about 281,000 people in Europe in six months.
“The national lockdown is the last resort,” Cluj said, adding that it was the default in March, but now “we know better.”
According to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the World Health Organization, new cases of coronavirus are accelerating rapidly in most of Europe, and now new cases are on the rise in the United States. The five European countries most affected by the epidemic are France, the UK, Russia, Spain and the Netherlands.
Cluj said the WHO called on Europe to take “local, targeted, proportionate action” to engage with communities and avoid collateral damage socially and economically.
The idea of a short, sharp “circuit breaker” downdown is rife in some countries, including the UK. Klug said the government should consider their social implications, including mental health and domestic violence, before implementing it, and use a two- or three-week period to “buy time” to get an effective track and trace system in place.