In a rare hopeful sign amid the grinding slog through a pandemic that has claimed more than 1.3 million lives across the globe, Europe’s new restrictions appear to be slowing the spread of the coronavirus in some of the worst-hit countries.
The World Health Organization said Thursday that new case rates were falling for the first time in months across the region. Two weeks ago, the agency reported that there were around two million new infections per week detected across Europe. Last week, that number fell to 1.8 million — a drop of 10 percent.
“It is a small signal, but it is a signal nevertheless,” Dr. Hans Kluge, the W.H.O. regional director for Europe, said at a news conference. Europe, he said, is capable of turning the tide, but he cautioned that the virus remained a serious threat.
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