The World Health Organization in Europe warned on Wednesday of a “further resurgence” of Covid-19 in early 2021, as it urged families to wear face masks during this year’s Christmas gatherings.
The UN Health Organization said in a statement that although some “fragile progress” had been made, “Covid-19 transmission across the European region is still extensive and intense.”
“There is a high risk of further recurrence in the first weeks and months of 2021, and we will need to work together if we are to succeed in preventing it,” said WHO Europe.
It urged the public “not to underestimate the importance of your decisions” and take extra precautions as many prepare to gather for the holidays.
If possible, the WHO said the celebration should be held outdoors and “participants should wear masks and maintain physical distance.”
For indoor parties, the WHO said limiting the number of guests and ensuring good ventilation was the key to reducing the risk of infection.
“It can feel awkward to wear masks and exercise physical distance when it comes to friends and family, but by doing so, it makes a significant contribution to keeping everyone safe and healthy,” says the health service.
The WHO European Region covers 53 countries and includes Russia and several countries in Central Asia, a region that has registered more than 22 million cases of the new coronavirus and close to 500,000 deaths.