Oct 30, 2020 15:23 UTC
  • Europe at ‘epicenter’ of COVID-19 with over 10mn cases: WHO

World Health Organization’s Europe director has expressed profound concerns about record-setting rate of coronavirus infections in the continent after the region recorded once again the highest-ever weekly incidence of cases.

The WHO’s European regional director Hans Kluge declared on Thursday during a meeting with European health ministers that “hospitalizations have risen to levels unseen since the spring” and fatalities have sharply climbed by more than 30 percent.

“At the risk of sounding alarmist, I must express our very real concern,” Kluge emphasized, noting that Europe has now reported more than 10 million COVID-19 infections and “is at the epicenter of this pandemic once again.”

This is while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also described the virus surge during a virtual EU summit as “very serious,” saying: “Numbers of cases are rising. Numbers of hospitalizations are rising. Numbers of death are rising, not as fast, fortunately… but the spread will overwhelm our health care systems if we do not act urgently.”

As leaders argued during the meeting about how best to coordinate their virus testing, tracing and vaccine plans, she further announced that Brussels will make 220 million euros ($257 million) available to help EU member nations organize the cross-border transfer of infected patients.