World Health Organisation (WHO) has pleaded with people to stay at home during the Christmas and avoid visiting other families because it is ‘not worth the risk’ of getting COVID-19 or passing it onto loved ones.
The organisation’s regional director for Europe, Dr Hans Kluge, called on people to make a ‘few more months’ of sacrifices to avoid a third wave of the pandemic.
“When we look back at these unprecedented times, I hope we all feel we acted with a spirit of shared humanity to protect those in need,” he said.
The stance is a significant toughening of the WHO’s advice earlier this week, which said anyone planning to enjoy a Christmas get-together should wear a face mask.
Urging those still considering seeing their loved ones this Christmas to think again, Dr Kluge said: “It’s not worth the risk… The safest thing to do right now is to remain at home.
“There remains a difference between what you are being permitted to do by your authorities and what you should do.
“We have a few more months of sacrifice ahead and can behave now in a way that collectively we are proud of.”
The UN agency earlier this week pleaded with families to wear face masks and socially distance at festive celebrations to halt the spread of the virus.
It said that would ‘contribute significantly’ to saving lives and preventing loved ones from getting sick, but admitted they ‘may feel awkward’.
“Indoor gatherings, even smaller ones, can be especially risky because they bring together groups of people, young and old, from different households, who may not all be adhering to the same infection prevention measures,” it said.
“Gatherings should be held outside if possible, and participants should wear masks and maintain physical distancing. If held outdoors, limiting group size and ensuring good ventilation to reduce exposure risk are key.”
count | 15