Lockdowns in Europe avoidable, school closures not effective - WHO Europe

GENEVA, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Fresh lockdowns in Europe are avoidable, including through near-universal mask-wearing, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe office said on Thursday.

Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, told a press conference: “Lockdowns are avoidable, I stand by my position that lockdowns are a last resort measure. If mask use reached 95%, lockdowns would not be needed.”

Primary schools should be kept open, he said, adding that children and adolescents are not driving spread of the new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 and school closures are “not effective”.

Reporting by Michael Shields, Stephanie Nebehay and Ludwig Burger;