Europe is entering a decisive moment in the fight against Covid-19 with the start of the school year and the arrival of autumn, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

It is time to stop "chasing chimeras" and making tough decisions to protect the most vulnerable and keep young people in school, even if it means accepting inevitable sacrifices, said the director of emergency situations of the 'WHO Michael Ryan.

"Europe is entering a season where people will start to return to indoor spaces. The pressure for infection will increase," Michael Ryan said during a virtual press conference.

Compromises will have to be made to keep both the younger and the older in social life, he said.

"The only way is for adults to maintain sufficient distance to promote a decrease in contagion."

“What is more important: the return of our children to classes or the opening of nightclubs and bars?” He said.

Fiasco around masks in Greece

According to the WHO, people under 20 represent less than 10% of cases and less than 0.2% of deaths.

Schools should only be closed "as a last resort" in areas of very high transmission of the coronavirus, said the organization's director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

In Greece, the authorities are faced with a resounding fiasco: hundreds of thousands of masks were distributed to all schools in the country for the start of the school year ... but most were far too large to be worn.

On Monday, when the masks were delivered for the first day of school, students flooded social networks with photos showing faces entirely covered by these "parachute masks".

Τεράστια επιτυχία οι μάσκες που μοίρασαν στα σχολεία, βλέπω.

Τα θερμά μας συγχαρητήρια.

- Lina Greek (@Linagreek) September 14, 2020

The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 929,391 people worldwide since the WHO office in China reported the onset of the disease in late December.

The United States is the country most bereaved by the pandemic with nearly 196,000 deaths, ahead of Brazil which deplores more than 133,000 deaths.

The consequences are terrible for the world economy, and in particular for the tourism sector which lost 460 billion dollars in the first half of the year, announced on Tuesday the World Tourism Organization, which forecasts a decline in demand of 70% on the set of 2020.

A summit on the pandemic, with a physical presence, is envisaged in New York during "the first week of November" by the UN General Assembly, announced Tuesday the new president of this body, Volkan Bozkir.

According to diplomats, several countries have however very recently opposed this deadline, judging that such a gathering would take place too soon while the world, and especially the United States, continue to fight against the spread of the disease without having taken any. Control.

Political pressure in the United States

In the United States, scientific experts have denounced the "unprecedented" pressure exerted by President Donald Trump, in the midst of the campaign for his re-election, on the major American public health institutions.

For months, incidents have been increasing within the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the federal agency on the front line to respond to the Covid pandemic. 19, two organizations that Donald Trump's lieutenants see as hotbeds of resistance against the president's desire to revive the economy.

Senior scientists at the CDC, who brief the press regularly, have been muzzled after sounding the alarm on the coronavirus.

CDC guidelines were amended this summer, apparently under pressure from the White House, to no longer recommend testing asymptomatic people, and to encourage schools to reopen, as Donald Trump demanded.

With AFP

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