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The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director for Europe made the prediction as the growing number of coronavirus cases fuel fears of a second wave hitting soon. Prime Minister Boris Johnson estimated a new spike of COVID-19 cases could hit the UK within two weeks as the number of infections grows across Europe. But Mr Kluge suggested a new wave of the virus would not result in a reimposition of the strictest social distancing rules as the continent has “learned” from the outbreak.
Speaking to Channel 4, the WHO expert said: “There is a phenomenon which we are observing across the region but, frankly speaking, that is not unexpected.
“Whether this is still the first wave or a second wave is less important than to realise it is because of the change in human behaviour.
“Basically, the virus is still with us, we don’t have a treatment yet nor an effective vaccine, so we have to learn to live with the virus.
“But what’s important as well is that a second wave does not mean a second lockdown of the economy and the educational system.”
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Mr Kluge continued: “We have learned to manage COVID transmission while having a running economy and educational system at the same time.
“The key is, we know what to do. Let’s make it hard for the virus.”
Concerns of a new spike of coronavirus cases has come after several European countries saw the number the infected over the past few weeks.
The UK reimposed a quarantine on all travel from Spain as Germany urged their citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Navarra, Aragon and Catalonia.
The Spanish Government also announced on Tuesday the use of face coverings had become mandatory both outdoors and indoors across the metropolitan Madrid area.
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Belgium also reinstated stricter safety measures and made the use of masks widely compusory in shops and social transports.
Prof Linda Bauld from the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh said: “Just looking at the case numbers from the European Centre for the last seven days, you can see there are countries where there are clearly worrying signs.
“Obviously Belgium is one of them. Luxembourg actually, surprisingly.
“Croatia did incredibly well at the beginning of the pandemic, early lockdown and is now a source of lockdown.
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“We’ve also seen other countries like Romania which are not looking good and we’ve seen what’s been happening in France, where there’s some concerns.
“I think we need to prepare ourselves.”
The Prime Minister is believed to be “extremely concerned” about the possibiity of a new wave hitting soon.
The number of newly diagnoses patients has been rising across the UK, with the average daily number of infections hitting nearly 700, the highest number of average daily cases for more than three weeks.
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