Eiffel tower reopens as WHO warns of Europe virus upsurge

France reopened the Eiffel Tower to tourists on Thursday after three months of closure because of the coronavirus, ramping up attempts to return to normality even as the WHO warned the disease was resurgent in Europe and continued its rampage through the Americas.

Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months last week, according to the World Health Organization’s regional office, which warned that health systems in some countries would once again be pushed to the brink. 

But the number of new cases in Europe is dwarfed by the Americas, where Brazil and the United States recorded almost 80,000 infections between them on Wednesday.

While some US states have moved to reimpose lockdowns, Brazilian expert Domingos Alves warned that his country was sending people “to the slaughterhouse” by reopening its economy too soon.

Governments are still struggling to balance public health needs of fighting a virus that has infected almost 10 million people and killed almost 500,000 with the damage that lockdown measures are doing to their economies.

The International Monetary Fund is the latest to quantify the economic damage — predicting that global GDP will plunge by 4.9 percent this year and wipe out $12 trillion over two years. 

It said many countries would face recessions twice as severe as those caused by global financial crisis in 2008-2009.