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WHO Reports 10% ‘Uptick’ in European COVID-19 Cases

An employee helps a person buy a ticket inside the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square cinema, on the opening day of the film "Tenet", amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain, Aug. 26, 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says Europe has seen a significant “uptick” in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, with 32 out of 55 state parties and territories in the regions experiencing an increase rate of more than 10 percent.

Speaking to reporters at a virtual news conference from Copenhagen, WHO Europe Chief, Dr. Hans Kluge, said that much of that surge in cases has been among young people in the region.

Kluge said that while the young tend to be healthier and the virus may not be as severe or life threatening for them, as the weather cools in Europe, they are likely to spend more time indoors where they are likely to come in contact with the elderly and other more vulnerable people. He said that could prompt an uptick in hospitalizations and deaths.

But he also suggested health authorities and other officials are better positioned and more prepared than in February when the continent was on the cusp of a huge surge in cases.

“We know what has to be done,” Kluge said. He called on regional governments to implement risk communication, increased testing and contact tracing, and for people to follow basic public health measures.