The pandemic has broken out again making Europe its epicenter which is forcing some governments to again re-impose unpopular lockdowns and also are in debates whether vaccines can alone be enough to fight against COVID-19.
According to Reuters tally, half of the average 7-day virus infected among humans around the world and almost half of the latest deaths are accounted in Europe itself which are the highest levels since last year April when COVID-19 was at its starting peak in Italy.
The main reason why governments and companies are worrying is because the prolonged pandemic will cause problem in the economic recovery.
Countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Austria are taking or planning on taking certain measures to slower down the spread of the Coronavirus.
In the Netherlands, the Prime Minister Mark Rutte called for a partial three-week lockdown from Saturday. Rutte also stated in an address on Friday evening, “The virus is everywhere and needs to be combated everywhere.”
Two doses of vaccination have been received by almost 65% of the European Economic Area (EEA) population which includes Iceland, EU, Norway, and Liechtenstein, according to the data of European Union but it also stated that the pace has slowed down in the last few months. In south European countries it is almost about 80% but hesitancy has caused a rollout in eastern and central European countries and Russia as well which led to the sudden outbreak.
Countries like France, Germany and the Netherlands are also severely experiencing a rise in infections which is a challenge even for governments with high acceptance rates. Just to be sure, both hospitalizations and deaths are lower than it was a year ago and a pace in use of vaccine by countries and also measures to prevent the spread of the virus such as social distancing which is making it hard to draw any sort of conclusion for the whole region.
The report of World health Organization (WHO) for the week to November 7 presented that Europe including Russia, are the only regions to see such a surge in cases which is up by 7%, whereas other areas reported the decline of the virus or stable trends.
Even, it reported that there has been an increase in deaths by almost 10%. The Netherlands is taking precautions and measures which includes the early closing of restaurants and shops and also barred spectators to attend any sporting events.
Germany has taken a strong step to set up free COVID-19 tests from Saturday as stated by the health minister, Jens Spahn on Friday. There has also been a draft law set up which states that face masks are compulsory and also to maintain social distance while in public places which is to be continued till next March.
Austria is yet to declare to impose a lockdown mainly for people who are not vaccinated as stated by Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg on Friday.
A REMEDY TO PREVENT COVID-19: BOOSTER SHOTS
Extra shots are being deployed by most of the European Union countries specifically for the elderly people and for those who have a weak immune system but to keep in mind that vaccines are the first priority to avoid any sort of unwanted circumstances, stated by scientists.
Carlo Federico Perno who is the head of microbiology and immunology diagnostics at Rome’s Bambino Gesù Hospital said that “The real urgency is to widen the pool of vaccinated people as much as possible.”
The use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for 5 and 11- years old are also being evaluated by the EU’s medicines regulator.
Norway has decided to provide a third vaccine dose to all its citizens of 18 years and above and also will give municipalities an option to use digital “corona passes”, stated on Friday by the government.
Italy will also be providing the third dose from December 1 to people over 40.
Michael Head who is a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton stated that, “This (outbreak) will probably make the EU look at booster doses and say ‘we do need them pronto’.”
COVID-19 OUTBURST IN CENTRAL, EASTERN EUROPE
They are still facing troubles to ramp up shots and have decide to take immediate drastic action. Latvia is one of the least vaccinated countries in Europe which decided to impose a four- week lockdown in the middle of October.
Restrictions have also been tightened in countries like Russia, Slovakia, and The Czech Republic. Virologists stated that vaccines alone cannot be the silver bullet to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the long term.
As a good example of practice, many pointed out to Israel where they have again made it compulsory to wear masks and also introduced vaccine passports after the rise in cases about few months ago. Initiatives such as maintaining spaces, and mandatory vaccine for indoor venues are a must, stated by Antonella Viola who is professor of immunology at Italy’s University of Padua.