As some European nations begin to see their COVID-19 outbreaks let up, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned governments on Wednesday not to lift their clampdown on public life too soon.
WHO’s Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge said this at a news conference in Copenhagen.
“As of today, Europe remains very much at the centre of the pandemic – on one hand, we have reason to be optimistic and on the other, to be very concerned,” Kluge said.
Kluge noted that seven of the top 10 most affected countries around the globe are in Europe.
Kluge singled out Spain, Italy and Germany for their slowing rates of transmission and said that “some good progress” is being made in Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland, according to a transcript.
He, however, expressed worry about the rising number of cases in countries such as Turkey, Israel, Sweden, Finland and Ukraine.
Kluge said there was a “long way to go in this marathon,” adding that it was not the moment to begin relaxing the tough social distancing restrictions that helped halt the spread of the virus.
Denmark, Austria and the Czech Republic have all announced loosening of restrictions.
A spokesperson for Spain’s government said on Wednesday that the public would likely begin to see some measures eased at the end of the month.