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The World Health Organization (WHO) raised its concern about Europe’s coronavirus outbreak as the number of intensive care beds available in some regions continues to decline and near capacity. On Thursday, WHO warned that there were alarming transmission rates of the novel coronavirus across Europe and warned against shortening the quarantine periods.
The global health agency said it would not alter its advice for a 14-day quarantine for those exposed to the virus. However, several nations have changed their recommendations. France has shortened the recommended quarantine from 14 to seven days, the United Kingdom and Ireland are currently proposing a 10-day quarantine, and several countries are considering decreasing the recommended quarantine periods.
According to the WHO’s technical lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, Europe is seen to increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and ICU admissions. The number of new coronavirus infections in Europe has now exceeded after adjusting for the population. Europe registered 187 new COVID-19 cases per million people, based on a seven-day average, compared to 162 new COVID-19 patients in the U.S.
According to data released by the French Health Authority, France set a new record for daily coronavirus cases on Thursday with 30,621 new reported cases within 24 hours. That brings to 809,684 France’s total number of confirmed cases.
An additional 88 deaths put fatalities at 33,125. It comes as Paris and nine other French towns plan for a nighttime curfew beginning on Friday at midnight local time. For at least four weeks, the daily curfew will be from 9 pm to 6 am.
With the Czech Republic, Germany, and France all reporting record case numbers in the past two days, countries that managed to control infection rates through lockdowns and started relaxing steps saw the virus’ return. Additionally, with 9,721 cases in 24 hours, the Czech Republic, which had managed to contain the virus early in the pandemic successfully, broke the record for new infections for the second day running on Friday.
Based on the data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, it currently has a higher infection rate over a 14-day warning period than any other European member state, registering 610 cases per 100,000 populations.
According to the country’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, Germany also broke the record for new coronavirus infections for a second day in a row Friday. Officials recorded 7,334 new conditions in 24 hours, about 700 more than the previous day’s record of 6,638.
Germany reported 24 new deaths, taking the number since the pandemic began to 9,734. In intensive care, the number of coronavirus patients is also on the rise. Thursday’s official statistics showed 655 patients in intensive care units, with 329 ventilated.
Health officials have consistently warned that as the COVID-19 pandemic runs into flu season, they plan to fight two destructive viruses circulating later this year. On Friday, Kerkhove urged the public to “rally” together, saying that the world was not in the same situation six months ago.