Expert warns too early to relax restrictions despite flatter virus curve in EU

France Protesters in Lyon against the lockdown
People wearing face masks on their body dance during a demonstration against the closure of the nightclubs, bars, shops and restaurants, in Lyon

The European Union’s latest surge of coronavirus infections is flattening or going down in some but not all countries across the continent, an expert has said.

However, the head of the continent’s disease control centre said it is too early to relax current virus restrictions.

Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said it is alarming that the death rate caused by Covid-19 is still rising across Europe — it was 95 per one million people last week compared with 84 the week before.

Ms Ammon also noted that occupancy of intensive care units was at 91% last week, meaning that “some countries are probably already at the limit”.

She spoke at at a virtual gathering of politicians responsible for European affairs in all the EU member states and at the European Parliament.

Ms Ammon also said there are still challenges when it comes to testing and contact tracing and that EU nations need to harmonise their medical data.

As of Monday, more than 13 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the EU and more than 319,700 people in the bloc have died of Covid-19.

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