The EU is concerned that a new COVID wave could derail economic recovery in the event of a pandemic.
According to the Associated Press, a recent and sharp increase of COVID-19 infections has one European Union official concerned that the bloc’s economic recovery from the pandemic may be jeopardized.
EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni revised the growth prediction two weeks earlier to reflect improved economic projections. Gentiloni’s message was less upbeat on Wednesday, when he acknowledged the optimistic forecast was now in jeopardy as infection rates rise and some member countries impose limitations to stem the spread.
According to the Associated Press, that projection, which predicted a 5% increase in growth this year among the 19-nation eurozone that uses the single currency, could be harmed by an increase of infections as the year draws to a conclusion.
“Our only message is to take the situation extremely seriously,” Gentiloni added, “but not to expect the economic impact to be the same as it was a year ago.”
According to the Associated Press, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said in a report released Wednesday that the impact of the highly contagious Delta variant “is expected to be very high in December and January” unless vaccination rates rise and governments take drastic measures to contain the outbreak.
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Medical experts have warned that more misery is on the way, and have called for immediate action that might affect vital industries such as the restaurant, bar, and tourism industries, which were already heavily struck by the virus last year.
It all goes against expectations for the holiday season, when it was expected that Europeans who were no longer bound by COVID-19 limits would spend their forced savings from the previous year, providing the economy a big boost.
“The end-of-year festive season is generally accompanied with activities such as social gatherings, shopping, and traveling,” according to the ECDC, “which provide major additional risks for Delta transmission intensification.”
Some EU countries’ health systems are already overburdened, while others are on the verge of doing so, according to ECDC Director Andrea Ammon. “We must now take it very seriously in the sense that efforts must be taken to reduce transmission.” However, in the past, this has resulted in lockdowns and wholesale closures of enterprises blamed for the catastrophic economic downturn.
Ammon was speaking about everything. This is a condensed version of the information.