Europe’s World Health Organization (WHO) director, Dr Hans Kluge has warned that Europe must prepare for a “second or third wave” of a new coronavirus outbreak.
Dr Kluge said that Europe is still “very much in the grip” of the coronavirus pandemic even though several countries have seen a “plateau or reduction” in cases.
The top doctor warned that “Covid-19 is not going away any time soon” and said it will be some time until a vaccine is developed.
Dr Kluge said public health will need to have a “more prominent place in society.”
Speaking at a briefing in Geneva said, “If the first wave is gone, [the key issue is]that we have bought the time to prepare for a second or third wave, particularly if there is no vaccine.
“The key issue is to be prepared, whether it is for a second wave or another outbreak of another future infectious agent.
“This will require the collaboration and understanding of everyone, not least with the summer coming, that everyone has to do its share while moving to a new reality where public health has to have a more prominent place in society.”
The WHO director said there are positive signs across Europe that the peak is passing, but coronavirus is “very much in the grip.”
He said, “We’re now seeing evidence of a plateau or reduction in new cases.
“We must monitor this development very closely.
But “Covid-19 is not going away any time soon.”
Europe accounts for 46% of all cases across the world and 63% of all deaths.
Should a second wave arrive, it could spread more rapidly amongst people across the UK in the winter months.
Professor Whitty said, countries that are looking to ease lockdown measures must negotiate an “extremely difficult balancing act” to keep control of the virus.