Top WHO official labels COVID-19 transmission rates in Europe a 'grave concern'

Top WHO official labels COVID-19 transmission rates in Europe a 'grave concern'
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The top World Health Organization (WHO) official in Europe said on Thursday that the rate of COVID-19 transmission on the continent is of "grave concern." 

"The current pace of transmission across the 53 countries of the European Region, is of grave concern," Regional Director Hans Kluge said while briefing reporters on COVID-19 numbers in Europe that are inching toward record highs, Reuters reported.

Kluge also said that tactics must shift to preventing COVID-19 surges instead of reacting to them, according to the news service.

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"Today every single country in Europe and Central Asia is facing a real threat of COVID-19 resurgence or already fighting it," he added.

COVID-19 cases in Europe are increasing, ABC News noted, rising 6 percent this week, and 18 percent the week prior. 

Across the world, Europe has had the highest rates of infection with COVID-19, according to the network.

WHO has said that the bulk of confirmed cases in Europe come from the United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey and Romania, according to ABC News, as the U.K. weighs reimposing masking requirements and social-distancing measures. 

The network also reported that many countries in Central and Eastern Europe are seeing their infection rates skyrocket, as the Czech Republic saw an increase of nearly 10,000 cases in one day, which is 60 percent higher than the week prior. 

Germany on Thursday also recorded 33,949 new cases, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic.