Europe needs 'serious acceleration' in fight against coronavirus - WHO

A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the WHO in Geneva

GENEVA (Reuters) - Europe needs some "serious acceleration" in the fight against the coronavirus but the World Health Organization is still optimistic European countries will not need to need to go into national lockdowns, WHO officials said on Monday,

"We are still hopeful that countries will not have to go into so-called national lockdowns," Maria van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical head for COVID-19, told an online briefing, when asked about Europe's rising case numbers.

"Right now we are well behind this virus in Europe, so getting ahead of it is going to take some serious acceleration in measures," added Mike Ryan, the WHO's top emergency expert.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Michael Shields and Kate Kelland; Editing by Mark Heinrich)