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Photo: MTI/AP/Thibault Camus

The World Health Organization (WHO)’s repeated warning of a possible resurgence of COVID-19 in the European region has now become a reality, Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said Thursday.

“Last week, Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months,” Kluge said at a press conference here.

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The WHO official noted that 30 countries in the region had seen increases in new cumulative cases over the past two weeks, and “in 11 of these countries, the accelerated transmission has led to a very significant resurgence.”

Poland, Germany, and Spain recently saw a resurgence of COVID-19 clusters at schools, coal mines, and food production facilities, according to Kluge.

Despite commending these countries for their “controlled, rapid and targeted interventions,” he warned that health systems are being brought to “the brink once again in Europe.”

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However, Kluge saw a light of hope in the messages he received from health ministers in Europe that more and more people were being socially responsible and “adhering to physical distancing and wearing facial masks.”

Moreover, Kluge urged authorities in the region to use digital tools wisely while building trust by respecting privacy and addressing the digital gap.

“The full potential of digital health is yet to be realized. It is about empowering people to make healthy lifestyle decisions to create a European culture of health,” he said.

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