A vaccine against Covid-19 may be ready by year-end, the head of the World Health Organization has said, without elaborating.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, addressing the end of a two-day meeting of its Executive Board on the pandemic, said: "We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope."

Nine experimental vaccines are in the pipeline of the WHO-led COVAX global vaccine facility that aims to distribute two billion doses by the end of 2021.

Earlier today, the WHO warned European countries about "pandemic fatigue", which it says threatens their ability to tackle the coronavirus.

"Although fatigue is measured in different ways, and levels vary per country, it is now estimated to have reached over 60% in some cases," WHO Europe director Dr Hans Kluge said.

He said this is based on "aggregated survey data from countries across the region".

Citizens have made "huge sacrifices" over the last eight months to try to contain the coronavirus, he said in a statement.

"In such circumstances it is easy and natural to feel apathetic and demotivated, to experience fatigue."

Dr Kluge called on European authorities to listen to the public and work with them in "new and innovative ways" to reinvigorate the fight against Covid-19, which is on the increase throughout Europe.

He cited a local authority in the UK that has consulted communities to gauge their feelings, and a municipality in Denmark where students have been involved in drawing up restrictions that allow them to return to university.


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Turkey has employed social media polls to understand public sentiment, while Germany's government "has consulted philosophers, historians, theologians, and behavioural and social scientists", Dr Kluge said.

The WHO's Europe region, which encompasses 53 countries including Russia, has seen more than 6.2 million cases and nearly 241,000 deaths related to the virus, according to the organisation's official statistics.

While the ravages of Covid-19 on the physical and economic life of the planet are clear, the pandemic's devastating effects on mental health have been widely overlooked, the WHO also said.

A survey conducted between June and August revealed severe disruptions to mental health services in 93 countries, the WHO said ahead of a large fundraising push.

"This is a forgotten aspect of Covid-19," WHO mental health director Devora Kestel told a virtual media briefing.

A second wave of the coronavirus in Europe has forced Paris to close its iconic cafes with France reporting nearly 17,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday alone, the highest daily number since the country began widespread testing.

The shuttering of bars and cafes, seen by many as the essence of Parisian life, were "braking measures because the epidemic is moving too fast", Paris police chief Didier Lallemant said, adding that restaurants will remain open provided they respect new safety measures.

These will include providing sanitising hand gel, limiting patrons to six a table with at least a metre between seats, and allowing diners to remove their masks only for eating.

The virus has killed at least 1,037,971 people worldwide, according to the latest AFP tally based on official sources.

Britain remains the worst-hit European country, passing its latest milestone of 500,000 confirmed coronavirus infections on Sunday.

Spain has decided partial lockdowns for two more cities, Leon and Palencia, after residents of Madrid and nine nearby towns were barred from leaving city limits for any reason other than work, school or medical and legal appointments.

While Madrid's regional authorities have criticised the two weeks of restrictions as too stringent, healthcare experts have said they do not go far enough.

Police checkpoint in the Moncloa neighbourhood, which is under partial lockdown, in Madrid