WHO concerned about Europe’s coronavirus outbreak as ICU beds near capacity in some regions

A member of the medical employees treats a affected person affected by the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Slany Hospital in Slany, Czech Republic, October 13, 2020.

David W. Cerny | Reuters

The World Health Organization stated Friday that Europe‘s coronavirus outbreak is “concerning” as the variety of obtainable intensive care beds continues to dwindle and near capacity in some regions.

When adjusting for inhabitants, the variety of new coronavirus infections in Europe has now overtaken that in the United States, with Europe reporting 187 new Covid-19 circumstances per million folks, based mostly on a seven-day common, in contrast with 162 new Covid-19 circumstances per million folks in the U.S.

In complete, Europe, which incorporates the 27 European Union nations and the United Kingdom, is reporting a mean of roughly 97,000 new circumstances per day, up 44% from one week in the past, in keeping with a CNBC evaluation of information from Johns Hopkins University.

The resurgence of the virus throughout the area has prompted France to declare a public well being state of emergency. Germany and the U.Ok. additionally introduced new measures in an effort to curb the unfold of the illness.

Dr. Hans Kluge, the top of the WHO’s Europe workplace, earlier this week blamed the brand new wave of infections on folks not complying with security measures.

But Europe is not seeing a rise solely in Covid-19 case numbers, in keeping with Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead. It can also be seeing a rise in hospitalizations and ICU admissions, she added.

“We know of a number of cities across Europe where ICU capacity will be reached in the coming weeks,” Kerkhove stated Friday throughout a press convention on the company’s Geneva headquarters. “That is concerning as we approach the flu season.”

Health officers have repeatedly warned that they’re making ready to battle two dangerous viruses circulating later this yr as the Covid-19 outbreak runs into flu season. Kerkhove on Friday urged the general public to “rally” collectively, saying the world shouldn’t be in the identical place it was six months in the past.

“We know so much more,” she stated. “There is a lot of comparisons now versus what we were seeing in March. But the massive difference right now is that we have testing capacity increased, we have a public health workforce that has increased compared to where we were in March, we have medical facilities who have beds who are better trained and have better experience of dealing with Covid-19.”

She stated folks ought to wash their arms recurrently, put on masks, keep their distance from others and keep away from going to crowded locations.

“All contribute to bringing this under control,” she stated. “It’s a number of things. It’s not just the wearing of masks. Masks must be used as part of a comprehensive package.”

“I know this is focused on Europe, but this is everywhere,” she added. “All the decisions that we make every day, we have some control over how we go about our daily lives. … Please do it all.”

The feedback come shortly after the WHO launched interim outcomes from its Solidarity Therapeutics Trial that confirmed Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir had “little or no effect” on loss of life charges amongst hospitalized sufferers.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated Friday that dexamethasone, a extensively used steroid, stays the one therapeutic that has been proven to be efficient in opposition to extreme coronavirus infections.

– CNBC’s Sam Meredith and Nate Rattner contributed to this report.

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