WHO ‘does not expect’ return to nationwide lockdowns in Europe
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WHO ‘does not expect’ return to nationwide lockdowns in Europe

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Nationwide lockdowns to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Europe may no longer be necessary as countries enter the back to school period, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Tuesday.

WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said that, with the return to activities heralded by end of the summer holidays, a key element in a country’s fight against the pandemic was to “learn to live with the virus.”

“The day we are going to conquer the pandemic is not necessarily [when there is] a vaccine,” Kluge told Sky News. “It is when we learn to live with the pandemic, and that can be tomorrow.”

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Kluge, a Belgian national who took the helm of the WHO’s Europe office last autumn, had previously warned Belgian leaders to not undo the nationwide confinement too early.

But on Tuesday he said that, to fight a potential second wave of the pandemic in Europe, he no longer expected national leaders to reimpose nationwide restrictions.

“I am being optimistic,” he said, adding that, as many countries sent students back to the classroom, local lockdowns “could not be excluded,” Reuters reports.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times