SHARE
COPY LINK

COVID-19

Europe remains at risk of Autumn Covid resurgence, WHO warns

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned Thursday that vaccination rates in Europe were still far off what was needed to stop a virus resurgence and called on countries to maintain protective measures.

Europe remains at risk of Autumn Covid resurgence, WHO warns
Guests sit outside a café after restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen outdoor seating amidst the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in Berlin, on May 22, 2021. Adam Berry / AFP

According to the organisation, 30 percent of people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 17 percent have been fully vaccinated in the WHO’s European Region — which spans 53 countries and territories and includes several in Central Asia.

“Although we have come far, we have not come far enough,” Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, told a press conference.

“Vaccination coverage is far from sufficient to protect the region from a resurgence. The distance to go before reaching at least 80 percent coverage of the adult population is still considerable,” Kluge added.

WHO Europe director Hans Kluge. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

He noted that the region had seen an overall decline in new cases, hospitalisations and deaths for two consecutive months, but urged nations to avoid repeating the “mistake” of last summer by easing measures prematurely, leading to a resurgence in the autumn.

“Over the course of last summer, cases gradually rose in younger age groups and then moved into older age groups, contributing to a devastating resurgence, lockdowns and loss of life, in the autumn and winter of 2020,” Kluge said.

He called on countries to take “last year’s lessons aboard,” by acting fast on signals of increasing cases, expanding testing and contact tracing, and “rapidly attaining very high vaccine uptake in the most vulnerable populations.”

He also called on people to “enjoy the summer safely” by adhering to health guidelines.

Member comments

  1. Lol does Europe/Germany want this pandemic to actually ever end? Like get it together and vaccinate everyone by the end of this summer so we can have normal lives again. Anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated has to be extra careful, but the rest of us, we need to go on and move on. But come on, another wave? Another lockdown? Another winter like this past year will destroy those of us who struggle with mental health. Make vaccination a priority. Vaccinate everyone everywhere asap. I don’t understand why it’s so hard here…….

  2. I read that the protection from the vaccination would last only for 6 months. So how does a vaccination from April to June make sense, when it is known that the Virus is mostly active in late autumn and winter?
    With this in mind: I wonder how 80% can reasonably be achieved for autumn and winter?

    1. That’s why they are discussing booster vaccinations..but if the rollout is as slow as the first ones were, another horrible winter. America may have had a lot more deaths, but in the end, they got their shit together. Here however…

      1. America had much lower mortality rate than many EU countries. If we were to put all the EU countries together, you would have more deaths than America. But it’s not the number of deaths, it’s the mortality rate and overall number of deaths per capita that matter. And there is a great deal of controversy over how some states counted covid deaths. If covid was present in a car accident fatality, for example, it was noted as a covid COD. And the number of excess deaths for 2020 do not support the number of covid deaths. It’s all smoke and mirrors in the end. And the WHO, as we saw in January 2020 when they declared on the 14th that there is no human-to-human transmission, is a feckless organization of bureaucrats from the scientific community under the control of, or at least under the heavy influence of the CCP.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19

Health experts advise end of masks on public transport in Spain

Spanish health experts have advised the government that the use of masks should no longer be obligatory on public transport, but no concrete date has yet been set.

Health experts advise end of masks on public transport in Spain

Health experts who advise the Spanish Ministry of Health have said that masks should no longer be mandatory on public transport, but with the caveat that the government should first wait and observe the epidemiological situation in China, which has experienced a surge in case numbers since it abandoned its strict ‘Zero Covid’ strategy at the end of 2022, following widespread civil unrest.

The use of masks on public transport has now been the norm in Spain for almost three years, since the start of the pandemic. 

Speaking to Ser Canarias, Darias said: “We are getting closer and closer [to the end of having to wear a mask], but we will have to see how things evolve in order to make that decision; obviously the epidemiological situation is getting better and better, but we have to see how the issue of China evolves”. 

Reports in the Spanish press suggest some kind of agreement was made during a meeting between the government and the experts in December that masks would no longer be compulsory after assessing the situation in China, however, there is still no fixed date.

Back in October 2022, Spain’s ‘Emergency Unit’ suggested that mask rules would not be reviewed until March 2023 at the earliest, but more recently it said that it does not seem necessary to wait for March to remove the mask rule. 

According to recent Ministry of Health figures, just 2.79 percent of hospital beds in Spain are taken up by Covid-19 patients.

READ ALSO: Face masks to remain mandatory on public transport in Spain until March 2023

The use of masks indoors in Spain ceased to be mandatory on April 20th, 2022, after almost two years, however, they have remained mandatory in hospitals, pharmacies and, crucially, also on buses, metro, trains, planes and taxis.

While the mask rules have been strictly enforced in some places in Spain such as Seville and Valencia, in other cities such as Barcelona, many people refuse to wear them, despite the regulations still officially being in place. 

READ ALSO: Spain now requires Covid certificates for arrivals from China

In China, figures suggest that almost 60,000 people have died as a result of Covid-19 in a single month amid the spike in cases following the end of the country’s draconian restrictions. In response, Spain reintroduced health control checks for travellers arriving from China. 

It seems that Darias and the Spanish government are waiting to see how the situation plays out in China first, but all the indications and expert advice seems to suggest that masks will no longer be mandatory in public transport sometime very soon. 

SHOW COMMENTS