Written by 6:33 PM News

Coronavirus: WHO warns of COVID-19 third wave, says Europe failed to learn from Asia

The World Health Organization’s special COVID-19 envoy David Nabarro told the Solothurner Zeitung in Switzerland that Europe was likely to see a third wave of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in early 2021 before a vaccine can be introduced. 

“They missed building up the necessary infrastructure during the summer months after they brought the first wave under the control,” Nabarro said. “Now we have the second wave. If they don’t build the necessary infrastructure, we’ll have a third wave early next year.”

Europe accounts for 28% of global COVID-19 cases and 26% of deaths with signs of overwhelmed health systems, according to WHO. Britain has suffered more than any other country in Europe from the coronavirus, with more than 54,000 deaths from 1.4 million cases.

With barely a month to go until the Christmas holidays, many are starting to worry about the social and economic impacts that locking down through the feast might carry. German case counts maintained their high levels but did not break any records in the last 24 hours, according to data from the country’s center for disease control, the Robert Koch Institute, which counted 22,964 new infections in the last 24 hours. The partial lockdown Germany has been under since early November is working, Health Minister Jens Spahn told Die Welt newspaper on Saturday but added more needs to be done, according to Deutsche Press-Agentur (dpa). “The exponential growth has been blocked. But we are all in agreement that that is not enough.” He added that, given the high percentage of elderly residents in Germany, it is important to stop the virus’ spread before it results in too many intensive care cases.

COVID-19 has infected more than 55 million people worldwide, causing nearly 1.3 million deaths. The U.S. leads the world in the number of coronavirus deaths, with more than 255,000 recorded fatalities, and became the first country to pass the grim milestone of a quarter-million deaths.

With cases surpassing 12 million in the United States, the highest in the world, many Americans were nonetheless heading to airports to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday despite health officials’ warnings to stay home. Daily numbers of new U.S. cases are approaching 200,000, less than three weeks after hitting 100,000 for the first time. Reuters data shows the pace of new U.S. infections has quickened, with nearly 1 million more cases recorded in just the last six days before the latest record. This compares with the eight days it took to get from 10 million cases to 11 million, and the 10 days it took to get from 9 million to 10 million.

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