Europe COVID-19 cases almost at 1 million, coming weeks 'critical': WHO

Europe is currently in eye of the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of cases nearing a million, the World Health Organization's (WHO) European regional director said on Thursday.

"Case numbers across the region continue to climb. In the past 10 days, the number of cases reported in Europe has nearly doubled to close to 1 million," the WHO's Hans Kluge told reporters in an online briefing.

This meant that about 50% of the global burden of COVID-19 was in Europe, Kluge said. More than 84,000 people in Europe had died in the epidemic, he said.

"The storm clouds of this pandemic still hang heavily over the European region," Kluge said. While some countries were entering a period where they may be able to ease restrictions gradually, "there is no fast track back to normal."

(Cover: People queue at a supermarket outside the town of Casalpusterlengo, which has been closed by the Italian government due to a coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy, February 23, 2020./ Reuters)

Source(s): Reuters