A dramatic uptick in Covid-19 cases in Europe has been labelled a ‘wake up call’ by the World Health Organization.
The number of coronavirus cases across the continent exceeded 300,000 last week – higher than the first peak in March – triggering grave concerns from health experts.
"We have a very serious situation unfolding before us. Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March," WHO’s regional director for Europe, Dr Hans Kluge, explained at today’s press briefing.
Kluge added that more than half of European nations had registered a rise in infections greater than 10 per cent in the past two weeks.
He also stressed the effectiveness of the stringent lockdowns that were imposed at the height of the pandemic and called on several European countries looking to shorten their period of self-isolation not to alter the 14-day quarantine.
In France, people who have been exposed must self-isolate for seven days, but in the UK and Ireland the suggested time is 10 days. Portugal and Croatia are considering reducing their recommended quarantine.