The WHO advocates wearing masks indoors: ‘COVID cases have tripled in Europe’
The director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Hans Kluge, warned yesterday (Wednesday), that in the last six weeks SARS-CoV-2 infections have "tripled" and advocated the use of masks indoors and on all means of transport.
“With the increase in cases, we are also seeing an increase in hospitalizations, which will only increase further in the autumn and winter months as people return from holidays, schools reopen, and social gatherings move indoors with the arrival of colder weather,” Kluge said.
However, even though hospitalization rates for Covid have doubled in the same period, ICU admissions have not, which “so far have remained relatively low.” However, as infection rates in older age groups continue to rise, 3,000 people in Europe are still dying every week.
“These numbers paint a picture of the recent past, and a difficult future must be prepared for, and it must be addressed urgently.” This is why WHO Europe is launching its autumn-winter strategy for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses, to help prepare for the next waves of infection, hence the need for the mandatory use of masks indoors.
He added that they will “relaunch the preparation efforts to respond to a greater burden on health systems", for which he highlights the need for an increase of the population to accept vaccines; the need to administer a second booster dose to immunocompromised people over 5 years old, and their close contacts, and consider offering a second booster to specific risk groups.
Other actions proposed by the WHO include promoting that each individual takes protective measures, "including respiratory hygiene, the use of masks, ventilation, hand washing, and vaccination"; and strengthening infection control practices in all healthcare and social healthcare settings.
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