for WHO Europe there are “encouraging signs” in the region

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The head of the European subsidiary of the World Health Organization projected that a slowdown in the pandemic is observed

The director of the Europe branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that there are “encouraging signs” of a slowdown in the coronavirus pandemic on the continent, despite the fact that the situation remains serious.

“Despite the fact that the situation continues to be worrying, we are beginning to see encouraging signs,” said Hans Kluge at an online press conference.

Italy, the country currently most affected by COVID-19, “has just seen a slightly lower rate of increase, even though it is still too early to say that the pandemic reached its peak in that country,” he added.

WHO Europe, which includes 53 countries as different as Russia or Andorra, has more than 220,000 official cases and 11,987 deaths related to the virus, according to figures from this organization. 60% of cases and 70% of deaths come from the region, Kluge said.

The person in charge also emphasized that the “unprecedented measures to slow down and interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 (which) save us time and reduce the pressure on our health systems.”

However, the exact impact of these measures, with a high social and economic cost, have not yet been determined. Governments and populations have to be aware of this “new reality” created by the pandemic and prepare for the long term.

“It will not be a sprint, it will be a marathon,” said Kluge.

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