The European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management (ECDC) right this moment warned of a excessive COVID-19 burden over the following 2 months, as Slovakia right this moment introduced a brief lockdown to gradual its surge, changing into the second European nation to take action.
The ECDC’s stark danger evaluation comes as a lot of European international locations reported new each day file highs for circumstances.
Vaccine protection not sufficient to blunt surge
In its up to date danger evaluation, the ECDC mentioned except international locations apply public well being measures now, alongside a stronger push to get extra folks vaccinated, modeling projections recommend the burden from the extra transmissible Delta (1617.2) variant can be very excessive in December and January.
Andrea Ammon, MD, the ECDC’s director, mentioned in an announcement that there are nonetheless pockets of weak unvaccinated folks, even in international locations with good protection. Lower than 70% of Europe’s inhabitants is absolutely vaccinated, and total safety is not sufficient to restrict COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations within the winter months.
In a significant pivot for ECDC concerning boosters, the group really helpful that every one international locations take into account booster doses for all adults ages 18 and older, prioritizing these over age 40.
Ammon mentioned re-introducing public well being measures is one other key step, which she acknowledged can be a problem over the vacations and would require main efforts from authorities and the general public.
“But now is the time to walk the extra mile,” Ammon mentioned. “We have safe and effective vaccines available and until a larger part of the eligible population is immunized, non-pharmaceutical interventions must continue to remain part of our daily routine.”
‘No nation is out of the woods’
At a World Well being Group (WHO) briefing right this moment, Director-Basic Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, mentioned the sheer variety of circumstances in Europe’s surge is placing unsustainable strain on well being programs and is exhausting well being staff.
He warned of overreliance on vaccines for ending the pandemic, noting that since Delta arrived, reductions in transmission from immunization has fallen from 60% to 40%. And he pushed vaccinated folks to proceed to take precautions and for governments to order tailor-made measures to take the warmth off their well being programs.
“While Europe is again the epicentre of the pandemic, no country or region is out of the woods,” he mentioned.
At a WHO Pan American Well being Group (PAHO) briefing right this moment, Director Carissa Etienne, MBBS, mentioned upward traits are already being seen within the Americas, which noticed circumstances rise 23% final week, particularly in the US and Canada, together with some areas within the Caribbean and South America.
“Throughout this pandemic, Europe has been a window into the future for the Americas,” the PAHO Director warned. “The future is unfolding before us, and it must be a wakeup call for our region.”
Globally, circumstances rose 6% final week, marking a month-long climb, the WHO mentioned yesterday in its weekly pandemic update. Deaths additionally rose by 6% in comparison with the earlier week, with the Western Pacific and Americas areas reporting sharp will increase in fatalities.
The 5 international locations that reported probably the most circumstances embody the US, Germany, United Kingdom, Russia, and Turkey.
Slovakia orders lockdown
Slovakia right this moment ordered a 2-week lockdown to gradual its file surge, in keeping with Reuters, changing into the second European nation behind Austria to take such a robust step.
Slovakia’s each day COVID-19 circumstances handed 10,000 for the primary time this week, and officers mentioned hospitalizations are at a important level of limiting different care and doubtlessly searching for assist from international international locations.
In different international developments:
- South Korea reported a record daily high for circumstances, with Seoul because the nation’s sizzling spot and with a big quantity circumstances reported from a cluster at a communal spiritual neighborhood.
- The World Well being Meeting will meet in a particular session from Nov 29 to Dec 1 to debate the necessity to develop a world treaty to raised put together for pandemics. At right this moment’s briefing, Tedros mentioned he is inspired that there is a broad consensus for the necessity for such a pact and that the world has treaties to handle different threats. “We will not achieve everything at the Special Session, but I hope it will serve as a launching pad for the development of an international agreement.”
- The WHO right this moment issued interim recommendations for vaccinating youngsters and adolescents, saying that although immunizing older folks is a extra pressing precedence, international locations ought to take into account the person and inhabitants advantages of immunizing youthful folks.