The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that Europe is now, once again the epicentre of Europe and that government are “well behind” the fight.
The executive director of the WHO health emergencies programme, Dr Michael Ryan said that governments “take some serious acceleration” with “much more” stricter measures to combat the virus.
Dr Ryan told a press conference, “There’s no question that the European region is an epicentre for disease right now.
“Right now we are well behind this virus in Europe so getting ahead of it is going to take some serious acceleration in what we do and maybe much more comprehensive nature of measures that are going to be needed.”
The WHO director warned governments not to “squander” the opportunity and stay ahead of transmission rates and maintain public health surveillance.
He further warned that free movement across the EU might have to be suspended to keep the virus under control.
Dr Ryan said, “Europe has spent 50 to 70-years trying to break down barriers and break down walls, it’s not an easy thing to build a coherent response across so many countries with so many different approaches, with so many land borders.
“There’s a lot of free movement, on those principles 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, “How can you convince someone to do something if they don’t actually believe there is a problem?
“Persuasion is a discussion, persuasion is a dialogue, persuasion involves the exchange of resources between people.
“Governments need to persuade people to do the right thing but they need to support people in doing that.”
WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus slammed world leaders who have undermined scientists during the pandemic.
Dr Ghebreyesus said, “Where there has been political division at the national level, where there has been blatant disrespect for science and health professionals, confusion has spread and Covid-19 cases and deaths have mounted.
“A pandemic is not a political football. Wishful thinking or deliberate diversion will not prevent transmissions or save lives.
“What will save lives is science, solutions and solidarity.”