UK among three countries reporting most new coronavirus cases in Europe, WHO says

Joe Gamp
·Contributor, Yahoo News UK
ROME, ITALY - APRIL 08: A medical worker wearing protective equipment and mask collects a mouth and nose swab from a person sitting inside a car during a drive-thru coronavirus (Covid-19) test at the the ASL Roma 1's Santa Maria della Pieta' health center in Rome, Italy, on April 08, 2020. WHO Europe's director Hans Henri P. Kluge said it is still too early to  undo coronavirus lockdowns. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The WHO said the UK remained among the top 10 countries reporting the highest number of coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. (Getty Images)

The UK is among the three European nations reporting the highest number of new coronavirus cases, the regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

Russia currently holds the highest number of coronavirus cases in the continent and the second highest globally, with the country’s tally standing at 252,245 confirmed infections, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The UK has seen the second highest number of infections in Europe and the third highest in the world with 230,985 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, Spain – now fourth highest in the world – has so far recorded 228,691 cases of infection, figures show.

Hans Kluge has warned the public to follows guidelines set out by governments in containing the spread of the virus. (WHO)
WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge has warned the public to follows guidelines set out by governments in containing the spread of the virus. (WHO)

In Europe alone there are 1.78 million confirmed cases, and 160,000 deaths across the continent, the WHO announced in a press conference on Thursday.

The UN health agency said the outbreak in the continent accounts for 43% of cases and 56% of deaths globally while the US has reported 1,390,764 cases, by far the largest number anywhere in the world.

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The WHO’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said that although the risk across all countries in the Europen remains very high, “it is in the east of the European region where we are seeing continued rising case counts.”

It follows Russia reporting it’s highest daily increase on Monday, confirming over 11,000 new cases in just 24 hours.

In his briefing, Kluge said that although pandemic was slowing, life on the continent had been “put on hold” and that “the future is uncertain” during “a time of sorrow”.

But he highlighted that the behaviour and responsibility of citizens in each country remained of paramount importance.

During a virtual WHO briefing he said: “Across the European region we’re seeing an overall slowing of the pandemic. But this remains a time of sorrow for many.

Staff at the Coastline fish and chip shop and ice cream parlour on Blyth beach, Northumberland, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) as they put out social distancing signs for customers. The restaurant has re-opened for take away orders after the easing of lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
The UK has reported the third highest number of cases in the world, with over 230,000 confirmed infections to date since the pandemic began. (Getty Images)

“We each have a role to play in keeping the virus at bay. We are now at a fork in the road – where our actions and individual behaviour determines which path we follow.”

But he cautioned: “Emergency fatigue threatens precious gains we have made against this virus.

“Reports of distrust in authorities and conspiracy thinking are fuelling movements against physical distancing, other people are behaving over-cautiously.

“Our behaviour today will set the course for the pandemic. As governments lift restrictions, you, the people, are the main actors.”

Kluge also outlined three important rules that that should be followed as the global pandemic continues to spread.

He urged national governments to remain vigilant, to listen and “adapt accordingly” to the concerns of the public and thirdly, for general populations to “behave responsibly” among high rates of infection.

Meanwhile, in England, restrictions on movement and social distancing were slightly eased on Wednesday.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 06: A man wears a medical mask as a precaution against coronavirus in central London, England on March 06, 2020. The total number of cases reached to 163 today in the UK. (Photo by Ilyas Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A man wears a medical mask as a precaution against coronavirus in central London. (Getty Images)

Under new government rules, people are now allowed to take unlimited outdoor exercise and to sunbathe in public places.

They will are also able to meet one other person from another household in a public space, as long as the two-metre rule is respected

On Wednesday, the Department of Health said 33,186 COVID-19 patients had died – a rise of 494 from Tuesday’s death toll of 32,692.

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