European countries facing a new epidemic wave

Central and Eastern European countries face a further rise in the number of people infected with Covid19 after a slowdown recorded in the past four months.

From Hungary to Russia via Poland, Czechia and Slovakia, the number of cases infected with the virus is on the increase, say the health institutes of these countries, which expect the new epidemic wave to culminate before the end of the year, without causing as many deaths as last spring.

These countries, which have recorded an increase of 10 to 20 pc per day of infected people since the beginning of October, are increasing citizen awareness campaigns without resorting to confinement.

According to these projections, in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, the number of patients will reach its maximum at the end of November, the peak of hospitalizations will be reached in mid-December and that of deaths around the end of the year holidays.

Hungary, the most bereaved country in Central Europe and in the world, in relation to the number of its population, could register a total of 36,000 deaths caused by Covid-19 by the end of this year, against 30,300 today today.

In Poland, the number of deaths could climb from 76,000 today to 88,850 by the end of the year, in Slovakia from 12,800 to 17,300 and in Czechia from 30,500 to 33,000.

Despite these projections, Hungary has taken no restrictive measures, but it is likely that wearing a mask will once again become compulsory on public transport and in shops, according to the headlines of local newspapers.

Heavy social distancing measures such as a curfew are unlikely, as the government wants to impose as few restrictions as possible on the population six months before parliamentary elections.

Vaccination coverage remains lower in these states: 58 pc of the total population is vaccinated in Hungary, against 56 pc in the Czech Republic, 52 pc in Poland and 44 pc in Slovakia, according to statistics from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

Vaccination coverage is lower than in Western Europe, where it reaches 65 pc of the population in Germany, 69 pc in Italy and 72 pc in France.

In Russia, health authorities have recorded an increase in the number of people infected since the beginning of the month, a sign of an epidemic in full swing against a background of sluggish vaccination and limited restrictions.

According to the official count of the Russian government, 34,303 contaminations were identified on October 18, a record since the start of the pandemic and 997 deaths.

The day before, the country had for the first time passed the symbolic threshold of a thousand daily deaths due to Covid19 with 1,002 deaths.

In Moscow, authorities on Tuesday announced health restrictions, the first since the summer, in the face of the frantic rise in cases and deaths as the Russian government could take nationwide measures to stem the spread of the virus.

The Moscow authorities have ordered the compulsory vaccination of 80 pc of service employees, against 60 pc currently, by January 1, 2022, the confinement of all unvaccinated over 60s from October 25 to February 25 and the teleworking of “at least 30 pc” of company staff.

In Russia, country of the Sputnik vaccine, barely 31 pc of the population received the second protective dose of the virus, this lack of enthusiasm can be explained by citizens’ mistrust of the effectiveness of this vaccine.

In Romania and Bulgaria, the health situation is deteriorating and hospitals are saturated by the increase in the number of hospitalizations.

In the past two weeks, Romania has experienced very strong pressure on intensive care units, with the number of seriously hospitalized patients dropping from 543 patients on September 10 to 1116 on the 26 at the end of the same month and the number of daily deaths rose from 45 to a peak of 143.

According to a report from the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), in Romania, 9 out of 10 people who died from Covid19 in the week of September 13 to 19 were not vaccinated, and 75.8 pc of confirmed cases were recorded in unvaccinated people. Only 25 pc of Romanians are vaccinated.

Same situation in Bulgaria where contaminations are skyrocketing, the country recorded 4,957 cases on Tuesday, an average of 3,250 per day since October 12. So far, 1.33 million people have received the second dose of the vaccine, but this figure could be revised downwards, due to the many false vaccination certificates circulating in the country, Bulgarian media indicate.

In the other Balkan states, with the exception of Kosovo where the number of contaminations is declining, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Slovenia and Croatia, are experiencing an increase in the number of people infected with the virus.

It is in Serbia that the situation is alarming with a new record reported at the beginning of the month with 5,509 new infections per million inhabitants. The country overtook Montenegro (4,976), followed by Lithuania (3,783). Over the past week, a total of 47,897 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Serbia, numbers close to those during the great wave of 2020 when, in the period from November 28 to December 4, 50,946 new cases were recorded. been detected.

The projections of the health institutes of the States of the region agree on a rise in the cases of high contamination in Central and Eastern Europe in the face of poorly respected health measures and vaccination coverage which remains significantly lower than that of Europe. West.1580918023

SL (with MAP)

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