The World Health Organization warned on Thursday of “alarming transmission rates” of Covid-19 across Europe and warned countries against shortening quarantine times.
WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said the number of coronavirus cases that occurred in September should “serve as a wake-up call for us all”.
“Although these numbers reflect more extensive testing, they also show alarming transmission rates across the region,” he said at an online press conference in the Danish capital, Copenhagen.
The health authority also said it would not change its guidelines and call for a 14-day quarantine period for people exposed to the novel coronavirus.
“Our 14 day quarantine recommendation is based on our understanding of the incubation period and disease transmission. We would only revise this based on a change in our understanding of the science,” said Catherine Smallwood, WHO Senior Emergency Officer in Europe.
In France, for example, the recommended duration for self-isolation after exposure has been reduced to seven days.
It is 10 days in the UK and Ireland and several other European countries such as Portugal and Croatia are currently considering scaling back their recommendations.
“Knowing the immense individual and societal impact, even a slight shortening of the quarantine length can … I encourage the countries of the region to conduct a scientific process with their experts and examine safe reduction options,” said Kluge, adding that The Concept of Quarantine must be protected and continuously adapted.
According to the organization, the 53 member states of WHO in Europe have registered almost five million cases of Covid-19 and more than 227,000 deaths.
The number of cases recorded daily is currently between 40,000 and 50,000, comparable to a daily high of 43,000 on April 1 – although testing has increased significantly in many countries.
A new record was set on September 11th. Around 54,000 cases were registered within 24 hours.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)