Europe has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic as cases in China slow and the deadly coronavirus runs through Italy and the rest of that continent, World Health Organization officials said Friday. “More cases are now being reported [in Europe] every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference at the organization’s Geneva headquarters.
WHO officials declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on Wednesday as the virus spreads rapidly across the world from Asia to Europe, the Middle East and now parts of the United States. Italy currently has the most cases outside of China with at least 15,113 infections, followed by Spain at 4,334, Germany at 3,156 and France at 2,882, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Other countries in Europe are seeing cases soar. Switzerland currently has 1,125 cases, followed by Sweden at 809, the Netherlands at 804 and Denmark at 788.
The United States has at least 1,701 cases as of Friday morning, according to Hopkins. Tedros said countries need to take a comprehensive approach to try to fight the pandemic. “Not testing alone, not contact tracing alone, not quarantine alone, not social distancing alone, do it all,” he said. “Any country that looks at the experience of other countries with large epidemics and thinks that won’t happen to us is making a deadly mistake, it can happen to any country.” Social distancing only slightly “slows down the virus so your health system can cope,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s emergencies program.
Europe is now the ‘epicenter’ of the coronavirus pandemic, WHO says, CNBC, Mar 13
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