“We do see an explosion.... in the sense, it only takes a couple of days to have over the European region an increase of one million cases,” said WHO's European regional director Hans Kluge in an interview with AFP on Thursday.
The mortality rate in the region could be rising “little by little”, added the official, while he was wearing a protective face mask even as he was interviewed over a webcam meeting.
“It's going to be a little bit of a tough time, we need to be honest on that,” Kluge further said.
Although the COVID-19 cases rapidly rise, the WHO official cautioned that closing schools should be seen as a last resort, arguing that there are “no reasons to say that schools are a main driver of the transmission.”
“We need to keep the schools open really until last because we cannot afford a COVID-19 lost generation,” Kluge noted.
However, he stressed that the “status quo is not an option”, calling for proportionate targeted measures, which could be scaled up.