One person dies from COVID-19 every 17 seconds in Europe

One person dies from COVID-19 every 17 seconds in Europe WHO

The World Health Organization's top official in Europe says face masks can prevent COVID-19-related lockdowns.

Defending schools and the use of masks to avoid confinements were two of the central messages of Kluge, who called "great hope in the fight against virus" news appeared in recent days about advances in several trials of vaccines against Covid-19.

Kluge, speaking in Copenhagen, Denmark, warned of the "negative impact of easing too quickly", saying restrictions should only be relaxed gradually. The WHO Regional director suggested that wearing a mask was by no means a panacea for the coronavirus, but if at least 95 percent of the population wore masks, there would have been a chance of avoiding introducing lockdowns. "That is one person dying every 17 seconds".

Europe has found itself at the centre of the coronavirus pandemic once again alongside the U.S., with most countries reintroducing strict measures to try and slow the spread of the virus.

The total number of positive Covid-19 cases recorded by Europe since the start of the pandemic has reached 15,738,179, with a death toll of 354,154. "I am encouraging a tier system based on levels of seriousness in community transmission, with a set of proportionate measures that could be considered under each one of them", he said.

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The city government of the capital New Delhi said it was working to increase the number of beds in hospital intensive care units as fears abound of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases after the Diwali festival.

It had the most new cases of any continent at 46% of the worldwide total.

The U.S. has reported more than 11.5 million coronavirus infections and more than 250,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

" The vaccine is very important, but it is also not a miraculous formula", said Kluge, referring to the need to complete it with other protective measures.

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