Europe’s rising case numbers are of ‘great concern’ – WHO

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge told reporters it was time to “step up the measures” as rising case numbers on the continent were of “great concern”.

But he said the situation was not as bad as the peak in March and April, and stressed that full-on lockdowns “where every corner of our society and economy has been halted” should be avoided. “The collateral damage on the people was too much,” he said, encouraging governments not to “hold back with relatively smaller actions”. People’s mental health, the risk of domestic violence and children’s education should all be taken into consideration, he added.

Meanwhile, Italy has registered 8,804 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday, the highest daily tally since the start of the country’s outbreak and up steeply from 7,332 on Wednesday. The number of people in intensive care with the virus has risen steadily. It stood at 586 on Thursday, up from 539 the day before and compared with a low of around 40 in the second half of July.

French health authorities on Thursday reported the number of new daily coronavirus infections jumped above 30,000 for the first time since the start of the epidemic.

The Polish government urged its citizens to stay at home and ordered new national restrictions such as closing gyms, pools and aquaparks, after coronavirus cases rose by 24% to a record on Thursday.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 7,334 to 348,557, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. 

The death toll rose by 24 to 9,734, the RKI data showed.