By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

As of Mar. 25, 2020, more than 200,000 coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19 cases have been reported in Europe, including 12,000 deaths.

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Among the countries hardest hit to date include Italy (74,000 cases/7,500 deaths), Spain (50,000/3,600), Germany (37,000/200) and France (25,000/1,300).

In a European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warns in a Rapid Risk Assessment today that the number of reported COVID-19 cases is rapidly increasing in all EU/EEA countries and the UK, and the notification rate is increasing at similar trajectory as was observed in Hubei province in late January/early February and in Italy in late February/early March.

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In the present situation where COVID-19 is rapidly spreading in Europe, the current assessment is:

  • The risk of severe disease associated with COVID-19 for people in the EU/EEA and the UK is currently considered moderate for the general population and very high for older adults and individuals with chronic underlying conditions.
  • The risk of occurrence of widespread national community transmission of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK in the coming weeks is moderate if effective mitigation measures are in place and very high if insufficient mitigation measures are in place.
  • The risk of healthcare system capacity being exceeded in the EU/EEA and the UK in the coming weeks is considered high.

Given the current epidemiology and risk assessment, and the expected developments in the next days to few weeks, the following public health measures to reduce further spread and mitigate the impact of the pandemic should be applied in EU/EEA countries: Community measures and social distancing, Measures in healthcare facilities are an immediate priority and testing and surveillance strategies should rapidly detect cases and elucidate transmission patterns.