COVID-19: WHO urges Europeans to be smart and safe this holiday season

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In a message connected Thursday, WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge urged Europeans to “be smart, beryllium kind, beryllium harmless this vacation season.” 

The COVID-19 menace remains precocious crossed the continent, which was already the epicentre of the pandemic adjacent earlier the emergence of the caller Omicron variant.  

Use the tools 

“My connection to the radical of Europe and cardinal Asia is to workout caution this vacation season. Use the galore tools we person astatine our disposal. These stabilizers assistance america to negociate the microorganism and support radical safe,” said Dr. Kluge. 

He urged radical to get afloat vaccinated arsenic soon arsenic possible. 

“Vaccines stay the champion mode to forestall terrible illness and death, adjacent with the accomplishment of the Omicron variant,” said Dr. Kluge. “If you are eligible for a 3rd dose and it is disposable to you, instrumentality it.” 

Families and friends gathering up should support these gatherings small, helium added,while recommending that radical should instrumentality a lateral flow/antigen oregon PCR trial beforehand to guarantee they are not infectious.

"Follow different preventive measures, adjacent if you are afloat vaccinated," Dr. Kluge advised.  "Avoid crowded oregon confined places, deterioration a well-fitting mask, observe carnal distancing of astatine slightest 1 metre, ventilate indoor spaces by opening windows and/or doors, and support your hands clean."

Finding the close balance 

In abstracted advice to governments and wellness authorities, WHO Europe called for “a balanced and risk-based approach” to COVID-19 prevention measures this wintertime season. 

As radical socialize much indoors, oregon question to sojourn loved ones, the opportunities for further microorganism transmission are significant.  

WHO Europe said with the close premix of measures, countries tin find a equilibrium betwixt keeping coronavirus transmission down and societies and economies open. 

Government effect should beryllium centred astir preventing terrible COVID-19 illness and stabilizing transmission. 

Measures see continuing to vaccinate, targeting those astir astatine risk, and prioritizing eligible groups for booster shots.  Governments should besides fortify nationalist wellness actions specified arsenic testing, interaction tracing and regulations for wide gatherings. 

Regarding planetary travel, WHO Europe said portion countries whitethorn use due measures to trim microorganism transmission, peculiarly successful effect to caller variants, broad question bans volition not forestall their planetary spread. 

Additionally, decisions connected wide gatherings should “rely connected a risk-based approach”, and WHO has produced a argumentation little and hazard appraisal instrumentality to enactment authorities successful this regard. 

New appraisal tool 

WHO Europe precocious launched an online mechanics to assistance governments determine connected the benignant and level of measures to instrumentality successful their territories. 

The COVID-19 Public Health and Social Measures (PHSM) Calibration Tool brings unneurotic the important accusation required to marque an assessment, and past provides a situational study with recommendations connected due measures. 

The (PHSM) Calibration Tool volition let governments and section authorities to rapidly set measures arsenic needed, which successful crook should assistance trim microorganism transmission, among different benefits.

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