In the face of a bleak future, Europe must act ‘now.’
On Wednesday, the European Union’s health agency urged member states to “immediately” implement measures to combat the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
The organization came out a day after WHO Europe warned that 700,000 additional people could die this winter in Europe and Central Asia.
According to AFP’s tally, Europe is by far the region now worst struck by the virus, with over 2.5 million infections and nearly 30,000 deaths reported in the last week.
The practice is growing, especially in nations where immunization rates are low.
Sluggish vaccination uptake in several countries, the highly contagious Delta form, colder weather forcing people indoors again, and the loosening of restrictions have all been blamed for Europe’s return to the pandemic’s epicentre.
Furthermore, evidence is mounting that vaccine-induced immunity to infection and mild disease is eroding, prompting requests for booster shots.
Some European countries have already imposed severe controls, while others are on the verge of doing so, prompting demonstrations from individuals who have grown tired of having their lives curtailed during the past year and a half.
Faced with an onslaught of new instances, As Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal highlighted a modest but consistent “deterioration” in the Covid situation, France and Italy indicated they will increase the deployment of booster doses for all people.
From December 6 to January 15, unvaccinated people were prohibited from entering pubs, restaurants, theaters, discos, or gyms in Rome. From December 15, health care workers will be required to get booster shots.
In addition to the 1.5 million individuals who have already died from Covid-19, the European section of the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that up to 700,000 more people could die from the virus by March in Europe and Central Asia.
Intensive care units (ICUs) in 49 of the 53 nations that make up the WHO’s European area are projected to experience “high or extreme stress” this winter, according to the WHO.
On Wednesday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said its modeling forecast an equally bleak conclusion unless “rapid” actions were implemented.
“The potential burden of disease from the Delta variant in the EU/EEA will be quite high in December and January unless public health actions are implemented immediately in conjunction with sustained efforts to enhance vaccine uptake in the overall population,” it warned in a statement.
In the EU and the European Economic Area (Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland), only about 70% of the population has been properly vaccinated.
“A substantial immunization gap remains unbridgeable as a result of this.” The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.