Europe will be hit by THIRD Covid wave early next year after failing to prepare, WHO fears

EUROPE could be hit by a third wave of Covid-19 next year due to its initial reaction to the pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has claimed.

Cases of the virus in Europe are continuing to rise and experts have warned that the continent “missed its chance” to control the crisis during the summer months.

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WHO envoy David Nabarro said once cases start to decline then people will be able to have more freedom.

Speaking to Swiss media he said: “Now we have the second wave. If they don't build the necessary infrastructure, we'll have a third wave early next year.

"Europe's reaction was incomplete".

It was this morning announced that hope could be on the horizon after Oxford/AstraZeneca announced that its Covid vaccine was 90 per cent effective.

It comes after offerings from Moderna and Pfizer were previously announced as benign 95 per cent effective.

At the start of the pandemic, areas of Italy had been plagued by the virus after it spread like wildfire across ski resorts in the country.

Nabarro has now also voiced his concerns at similar ski resorts being opened in Switzerland.

In some resorts, holidaymakers are allowed to wear masks in ski lifts in order to stop the spread – but resorts in Austria have remained closed.

Nabarro warned that prematurely reopening activities such as this could lead to a spike in cases.

He said: “Once the infection rates sink, and they will sink, then we can be as free as we want.

“But right now? Should ski resorts open? Under what conditions?”

In many places, public health officials have urged citizens to wear face masks and coverings.

In the UK the message from the government is focused on “hands, face and space”.

Infections in other parts of the world such as in Asia, have dropped off and areas such as Wuhan – where the virus is believed to have originated from – are near enough back to normal.


Nabarro also praised countries such as South Korea for its handling of the pandemic.

Infections are currently at relatively low levels in the country and its government has reported just over 500 deaths from the virus.

Nabarro said: “People are fully engaged, they take on behaviours that make it difficult for the virus.

“They keep their distance, wear masks, isolate when they're sick, wash hands and surfaces.

“They protect the most endangered groups".

Hands, face, space

Nabarro also said Asia did not relax restrictions prematurely.

Despite this – South Korea has recently had a spike in cases and has been forced to close bars to curb the spread.

Over the summer months, the UK, as well as other European countries was seen to relax restrictions.

In the UK people were allowed to visit pubs and restaurants. While social distancing was still encouraged many people took advantage of schemes such as Eat Out to Help Out, while many people hit the shops after a long hiatus.

Nabarro said that lifting restrictions too fast could be dangerous.

He added: “You must wait until case numbers are low and stay low.

“Europe's reaction was incomplete.”

In the last seven days 142,727 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in England.

Official data from the government states that 18,622 people are testing positive on a daily basis.

Over the last seven days the UK has seen 3,091 deaths and on average this equates to 398 daily deaths.

Italy has also seen a spike in death rates with around 650 deaths a day, and France is also experiencing a a similar surge with 600 a day – while Spain currently has around 260.

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