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Decision time for Europe as virus surges, WHO warns

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Decision time for Europe as virus surges, WHO warns

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML The World Health Organization said Tuesday that Europe was facing decision time about tackling COVID-19 as case numbers hit record highs, children return to school and summer recedes.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said it was time to "stop looking for unicorns" and instead take hard decisions to protect those most vulnerable and keep youngsters in education—but inevitably see others lose out.

"Europe is facing that moment as Europe enters into a season in which people will begin to come back indoors. The pressure of infection will grow, no question," Ryan told a virtual press conference.

"How do we hold those two principles—protecting the vulnerable from death, and getting our children back to school?

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"Something, in some sense, has to give."

Ryan said there were no easy answers but such trade-offs needed to be made to help both the youngest and the oldest in society.

"The only way to do that is that the adults separate themselves enough to drive transmission downwards," he said."So what is more important: our children back at school or the nightclubs and bars open?"There’s a time for decision-making coming as the season rolls into the winter months." Surge in Europe The WHO registered a one-day record high number of confirmed cases in Europe on Friday at 53,873.The surge has sparked alarm across Europe, and revived the debate over how best to fight it as millions of schoolchildren return to the classroom for the first time in months.Maria Van […]

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