Covid on the Rise in South and Central Europe

21 Dec, 2020

The European regional office head of WHO, Kluge, stated that though there has been a tad reduction in the last 21 or so days in Covid cases, however, that does not mean the region is overall safe.

Despite Western European cases seeing a downfall, about 50% of other countries in the area are facing a surge in cases, especially due to the fact that from the West the infections are migrating to the other parts of the continent.

40% of new worldwide infections and at least 50% of casualties hail from Europe. This is why Kluge stated that in any country even if there is a downfall in infections the curtain should not be drawn on using severe tactics.

With vaccines coming soon, Kluge has advised other nations to make sure they are distributing only federally approved vaccines to their citizens. Kluge also stated that governments of the world should plan who is next in line to receive the vaccine. This is because a lack of planning in vaccine distribution would end up doing more harm than good.

Data on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be reviewed on December 29, 2020 while information for the Moderna vaccine will be reviewed on January 21, 2021. Both companies’ vaccines are scheduled to be sanctioned after these aforementioned dates. The approval authority is the European Medicines Agency.

In terms of vaccine distribution in Europe, it has been recommended that old people be vaccinated followed by people working in the health care departments and next comes people who have peculiar health aspects. 

A new strategy to manage Covid in Western Europe is the closure of ski resorts which has been implemented by the developed nations of Italy, France and Germany. However, not all countries have followed this procedure with one example being Switzerland. Hence, the French government is trying their best to hinder their citizens from visiting Switzerland for skiing purposes. Other countries in the region who seem to follow Switzerland include Austria and Spain. Many EU-member nations are trying to enforce harsh policies before the onset of Christmas but Switzerland is not a part of the European Union. 

Strict lockdown measures and travel restrictions have been imposed by the Italian government from December 21 to January 6. In other parts of the continent, Greece is facing a slow downfall in overall cases and this has led to the prolonging of the nationwide lockdown to January 6. Hospitals are up to the brink with admissions in Northern Greece which has been hit the harshest by the virus.

Russia is also under strict nationwide lockdown and it is 4 on the list of Covid carriers worldwide. 28,125 new cases were reported in the nation recently which has set a countrywide landmark.