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WHO warns of 'alarming' virus transmission rates in Europe Updated: 2020-09-18 13:44:37 KST

The World Health Organization has warned of "very serious situation" in Europe, as new COVID-19 infections surge dramatically across the continent.
The WHO's European regional director said on Thursday that weekly cases in Europe have now exceeded those reported in March, when the pandemic first peaked.
He said the increase in cases should serve as a warning, and cautioned countries against shortening 14-day quarantine periods.

"The September case numbers, however, should serve as a wakeup call for all of us. Although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region."

According to the regional director, more than half of the countries in Europe have seen a greater-than-10 percent surge in cases in the past two weeks.
France is seeing the number of new daily cases soar, with reporting an all-time record of 10,593 cases on Thursday.
The UK, which has the third-highest number of cases in Europe, has seen an alarming rise in infections across northern England in recent weeks.
Italy, with the fourth-highest number of infections in Europe, has also seen new cases rise.
European governments are imposing tight measures in an effort to halt a second wave of the pandemic.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Thursday that tighter restrictions will apply in the northeast of England from Friday.
The measures include a ban on socializing with anyone outside the household, and a 10 PM curfew for bars, pubs, restaurants and leisure centers.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
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