Europe becomes epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic: WHO

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Europe has now become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China, the chief of World Health Organization (WHO) said in Geneva on Friday.

More cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted at a daily briefing.

Tedros underlined it is "a tragic milestone" that 5,000 people died of COVID-19 worldwide, as more than 132,000 cases have been reported to WHO from 123 countries and regions.

He reiterated all countries must take a comprehensive approach, stressing that the epidemic can happen to any one.

"Any country that looks at the experience of other countries with large epidemics and thinks 'that won't happen to us' is making a deadly mistake," Tedros warned.

He noted based on experience from the countries like China, aggressive testing and contact tracing, combined with social distancing measures and community mobilization, can prevent infections and save lives.

Tedros called on governments, businesses and individuals to follow WHO's advices for containing the pandemic, namely "prepare and be ready", "detect, protect and treat", "reduce transmission", as well as "innovate and learn".

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