Europe is once again the epicenter of the pandemic, leading some governments to consider reimposing unpopular lockdowns in the lead-up to Christmas and Christmas. Stirring up the debate over whether vaccines alone are enough to control COVID-19.
Europe accounts for more than half of the world’s average 7-day infections and nearly half of the recent deaths, according to a statistic Reuters. These are the highest levels since April last yearWhen the virus first invaded Italy.
Governments and businesses are concerned that the prolonged pandemic will derail the fragile economic recovery. Countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic are taking or planning action to slow down progress.
Dutch Acting Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced Partial booking for three weeks from Saturday, The first in Western Europe since summer. “The virus is everywhere and it must be fought everywhere.” Rutte said in a speech on Friday night.
New concerns are coming over what British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described on Friday as “storm clouds” over Europe While successful vaccination campaigns stopped before the winter months And flu season.
About 65% of residents in the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, received two doses, according to EU data, but The pace has slowed in recent months.
Admission in southern European countries is close to 80%, but Suspicion hindered the spread in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, Resulting in an outbreak that could lead to the collapse of medical care.
Germany, France and the Netherlands are also seeing an increase in infections It illustrates the challenge even for governments with high acceptance rates, while dashed hopes that vaccinations will mean a return to near normality.
sure, Hospitalizations and deaths are much lower than they were a year ago The large differences by country in the use of vaccines and boosters, as well as social distancing measures, make it difficult to draw conclusions for the entire region.
However, virologists and public health experts said Reuters That the culprit is most likely A combination of lower vaccination in parts, lowered immunity among those vaccinated early, masking complacency and distancing As governments eased restrictions during the northern summer.
“If there is one thing that can be learned from this, it is that you don’t have to take your eyes off the ball.”said Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick Medical School in the UK.
The latest WHO report for the week ending November 7 showed that Europe, including Russia, was the only region that saw an increase in cases, 7%, while other regions reported declines or stable trends.
Similarly, I mentioned a 10% increase in deathsWhile other regions recorded a decrease.
gloomy look It is causing chills in companies and governments, fearing that a prolonged pandemic will derail a fragile economic recovery, Especially now that transatlantic flights have resumed and borders are beginning to reopen.
In Germany, it was reported that Some cities have canceled Christmas markets again, While The Netherlands can close theaters and cinemas and suspend major events Pay the closure of cafes and restaurants.
Most of the European Union countries Giving additional vaccinations to the elderly and those with weak immune systems, But the scientists said expanding it to a larger part of the population and adolescents should be a priority to avoid steps such as confinement.
“The real urgent need is to expand the pool of vaccinators as much as possible,” said Carlo Federico Perno, head of the department of microbiology and immunodiagnostics at the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome.
Written by Josephine Mason and Emilio Parodi
(With information from Reuters)