World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said the continent has seen a surge of COVID-19 cases since countries began easing lockdown restrictions. He put 30 countries alert after they saw a rise in cases of the invisible killer disease.
He said: “Last week, Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months.
“Thirty countries have seen increases in new cumulative cases over the past two weeks.
“In 11 of these countries, accelerated transmission has led to very significant resurgence that if left unchecked will push health systems to the brink once again in Europe.”
A surge in cases come after countries in Europe eased lockdown restrictions following months of a shut down.
Borders between EU nations have reopened and most restrictions been lifted, prompting thousands of French to cross into Spain on Sunday seeking cheap tobacco and alcohol.
More than 9.47 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 482,389 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 10am today.
READ MORE: Coronavirus map LIVE: Global cases could hit 10m NEXT WEEK
European countries have been giving medics crash courses in how to deal with COVID-19 patients, and are now looking at ways to retrain staff to avoid shortages of key workers if there is a second wave of the novel coronavirus.
Maurizio Cecconi, president-elect of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM), which brings together medics from around the world who work in wards with extremely ill patients, said: “We need a healthcare army.”
It comes after the WHO warned the number of coronavirus infections could reach 10 million within the next week following a huge spike in new cases over the past month.
WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing in Geneva: “More than 9.1 million cases of Covid-19 have now been reported to WHO, and more than 470,000 deaths.
“In the first month of this outbreak, less than 10,000 cases were reported to WHO. In the last month, almost four million cases have been reported. We expect to reach a total of 10 million cases within the next week.
“This is a sober reminder that even as we continue R&D (research and development) into vaccines and therapeutics, we have an urgent responsibility to do everything we can with the tools we have now to suppress transmission and save lives.”
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