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Covid means a ‘different’ but still ‘merry’ Christmas, WHO Europe regional head warns

Covid means a ‘different’ but still ‘merry’ Christmas, WHO Europe regional head warns
WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr. Hans Kluge has offered hope ahead of the Christmas break, despite forecasting “six tough months,” as the continent is overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases.

Dr. Kluge told reporters that lockdowns are avoidable and could be a “last resort measure” if 95 percent of citizens used masks to prevent the spread of the virus, as well as a combination of other social distancing guidelines. 

He was discussing measures that countries should be implementing as nations prepare to ensure citizens can safely travel home in time for the seasonal break.

It will be a different Christmas but that does not mean it cannot be a merry one.

With Europe and the United States at the center of the pandemic, working to try and get the virus under control, Dr. Kluge recognized that while there will be “six tough months” ahead there is light at the end of the tunnel. Although, without appropriate action, he warned health systems on the continent could be overwhelmed from an influx of new infections. 

The WHO regional director’s comments come as two potential vaccines reported that they have shown 95 percent effectiveness during trials. Dr. Kluge said that, even though the news is encouraging, it is “not a silver bullet because we know the supply will be limited” at the beginning of the distribution process. 

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Europe is currently battling a second wave of coronavirus, with more than 29,000 deaths from the disease being reported on the continent in the past week alone.

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