The World Health Organization warned that some countries may need to shut down their nonessential businesses again as a way to take the "heat" out of their worsening coronavirus outbreaks.
WHO officials said they are still hopeful most countries won't need to impose nationwide lockdowns, which were imposed by some world leaders earlier in the year as a way to slow the spread of the virus. But as Covid-19 cases now accelerate across the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the United States and Europe, some countries may need to impose those stricter mitigation measures again, the agency said.
Executive director of the WHO's health emergencies program Dr Mike Ryan said during a press conference at the agency's Geneva headquarters that the world will have to "get ahead of this virus, and that may require sacrifice for many, many people in terms of their personal lives," according to CNBC.
"It may require shutting down and restricting movement and having stay-at-home orders in order to take the heat out of this phase of the pandemic," he added.
The agency also criticised some countries for not investing in mitigation efforts during the first wave of the pandemic.
"When we look across Europe as a whole, you could certainly ask yourself the question of whether there was enough invested through the first wave and ensuring there were full and adequate resources in each of those critical areas," Ryan said.
When adjusting for population, the number of new infections in Europe has overtaken that in the United States, with Europe reporting 324 new Covid-19 cases per 1 million people, based on a seven-day average, compared with 209 new Covid-19 cases per 1 million people in the US.
Overall, Europe, which includes 27 European Union countries and the UK, is seeing nearly 168,000 new cases per day, while the US has reported an average of about 68,767 new cases every day, according to the US Johns Hopkins University data.
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