If France is worried about the surge in Covid-19 cases, the whole of Europe has reason to tremble too.
In any case, this is the meaning of the message sent this Thursday by the World Health Organization (WHO), which expects “high levels” of Covid-19 this summer on the continent and calls for monitoring the virus. close after a tripling of daily cases for a month.
"As countries across Europe have lifted the social measures that were in place, the virus will circulate at high levels over the summer," the director for Europe told AFP. UN organization, Hans Kluge.
“The virus is not going to go away just because countries stop monitoring it.
It continues to contaminate, it continues to change and it still kills,” he said in a written statement to AFP.
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Driven by the Omicron BA.5 sub-variant, the number of cases in the fifty or so countries of the WHO Europe zone approached 500,000 daily this week, while it was around 150,000 a day. end of May, according to public data from the organization.
Vaccination remains the key
After hovering around 4,000 to 5,000 deaths per day for much of the winter, the death toll currently remains at a low level of around 500, its summer 2020 level. European countries are showing rising cases, with Portugal, Luxembourg, France, Greece, Cyprus, Germany and Austria currently leading the way with the highest incidence.
“We hope that the extensive vaccination programs that most member states have in place, together with past infections, will mean that we will avoid the most serious consequences that we saw earlier in the pandemic,” said Hans Kluge.
“Nevertheless, our recommendations remain in place,” he stressed.
The WHO calls on Europeans to continue to self-isolate if they have respiratory symptoms, to check that their vaccinations are up to date and to wear a mask in crowded places.
"We must continue to track the virus because not doing so makes us increasingly blind to the modes of transmission and (its) evolution," said the director of WHO Europe.
Hans Kluge also called on Member States to further increase their level of vaccination.
“High immunity in the population and choices made to reduce the risk for the elderly will be the keys to preventing additional mortality this summer,” he said.