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World Health Organization Europe Director Hans Kluge during an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson on October 16. CNN

World Health Organization European Director Hans Kluge said he was “very concerned” about the second wave in Europe but warned against national bans as cases increase in the region.

Instead, Kluge said that wearing CNN masks along with tight controls on social gatherings could save around 281,000 lives in Europe in six months.

“The national lockdown is the last resort,” said Kluge, explaining that this was the standard position in March, but now “we know much better”.

New cases of the coronavirus are rapidly increasing across much of Europe, far exceeding the increase in new cases in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the World Health Organization. The five European countries currently hardest hit by the pandemic are France, Great Britain, Russia, Spain and the Netherlands.

Kluge said WHO in Europe is calling for “local, targeted, proportional action” that involves engaging communities and avoiding collateral social and economic damage.

The idea of ​​short, sharp “breaker” lockouts has been debated in a number of countries including the UK. Kluge said the government should consider their social impacts, including mental health and domestic violence, before implementation, and use the two or three week period to “buy time” to put in place an effective track and trace system .