As Europe is at the epicenter COVID-19 When the pandemic reoccurs, experts say it should serve as a “warning” to the United States and other countries about the “continuous” nature of the virus.
Incidents are on the rise in countries across the continent. It has risen by more than 50% in October and continues to be worrisome as winter begins to bite this month.
Dr. Hans Kluge, director of the World Health Organization’s European region, warned on November 4. The area “returned to the epicenter of the pandemic” And his words were foresighted.
On Friday, the World Health Organization said nearly 2 million cases were reported across Europe last week. This is the most common in the region in the week since the pandemic began.
For the past few weeks Germany According to data from Johns Hopkins University, it reported a record daily number of over 50,000 new infections.
NS Netherlands In addition, more than 16,000 cases were reported. This is the largest number in the country since the pandemic began, and the government was urged to begin a partial blockade on Saturday. This will last for at least 3 weeks.
Due to the surge in incidents at the end of last month, Belgium has re-imposed some Covid restrictions, including the requirement for masks in public places. You must also present your country’s Covid-19 pass to enter bars, restaurants and fitness clubs. Your passport indicates that you have been completely vaccinated, have recently had a negative test, or have recently recovered from your illness.
Nevertheless, the country recorded more than 15,000 daily cases on Monday.
Despite the surge, daily mortality rates in all three countries are relatively stable compared to past surges, and experts have weakened the link between case numbers to hospitalization and mortality, resulting in vaccines. I think the intake is high.
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Tom Wenserias, an evolutionary biologist and biostatistician at KU Ruben University in Belgium, told NBC News by email Wednesday.
Belgium reported hundreds of deaths at the start of the pandemic and reported that “hospital capacity was tested” in recent weeks when it was forced to block again nationwide last fall. Celia’s said. However, overall mortality appears to be largely isolated from the high case rate, he added.
But the same is not true for Eastern European countries, where the situation is “really miserable.”
In the last three weeks, Romania has been 591. Bulgaria, 334; According to Johns Hopkins data, all 64-year-old Latvia reports record daily deaths. The number of cases is also increasing rapidly.
Calling this “worry,” the Wenserias said they believed that low vaccine intake and high vaccine hesitation were the main causes.
“It wasn’t due to a shortage of vaccines,” he said, saying that co-procurement of vaccines at the European Union level meant that all 27 member states were “capable of purchasing the same amount of vaccine.” Stated.
“Despite the availability of vaccines, these countries were unable to persuade the public to be vaccinated,” he added.
At least one in three people in Eastern European countries do not trust health care, compared to the block average of 18%. European Commission poll According to the found eurobarometer Reuters..
Romania and Bulgaria are one of the countries with the lowest vaccine intake rates across the continent. EU vaccine tracker..
According to the latest data, less than 23% of Bulgaria’s adult population has been fully vaccinated and over 25% have been vaccinated at least once. In Romania, just under 34% of the population over the age of 18 was fully vaccinated, while nearly 38% were vaccinated at least once.
Eurobarometer polls show that respondents from both countries are least likely to express their enthusiasm for vaccination.
Vaccine trackers have also shown that other Eastern European countries have lower vaccination rates than Western European countries.
This means that “high case rates are translated [into] Very high death toll. “
“I don’t know if people in Eastern Europe understand how pandemics continue to be punished during the Delta era,” said Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, approaching the first winter in the Delta variant. Stated.
“It’s constant,” he said. “We are at the limit of vaccine repellent” in some Eastern European countries, he added, “there is no possibility of dealing with this pandemic under these conditions.”
Prime Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Friday that a blockade would be introduced to unvaccinated people in Upper Austria and Salzburg in Austria, a European state that had long been a bridge between east and west.
As a result, millions of people who are not fully vaccinated will be allowed to leave home only for reasons deemed essential to their lives, such as work, seeing a doctor, or shopping for groceries, he said. Said.
Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and senior researcher at the Federation of American Scientists, said high mortality should be a “warning” for other countries with low vaccination rates.
He believes that the most effective approach is a multifaceted approach that includes anti-coronavirus measures such as wearing masks and social distance, but vaccines and booster jabs are important to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Said there is.
The Wenserias agreed, saying that Americans should pay attention to the situation that is unfolding throughout Europe.
Both high- and low-vaccination states in the United States can look at the number of cases in Europe and see it as “a sign that the United States may still see a resurgence,” he said.
On both sides of the Atlantic, “convincing as many people as possible to get vaccinated should be a top priority,” and “set up a booster campaign” for those at greatest risk. He said.