After a gap, Covid-19 cases and deaths have been increased in several parts of Europe and widespread concerns have been raised by doctors and scientists as the government imposes lockdown measures to control the infection ahead of Christmas.
The lurching to another round of Covid waves makes people call off the fifth Covid wave around Europe. Earlier, several countries have been taken back the curbs like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing as a measure to ease the restrictions. But after October, the surge was noted by many countries and researchers say the spread was due to the cold weather season.
Europe saw a 55% increase in Covid cases in the first week of November. The numbers are alarming given that Europe has vaccinated individuals over 82% of its population over the age of 12. It is also estimated that if the graph continues to project in the way it is now, by February of 2022, the continent will experience at least half a million more deaths.
The World Health Organization reported on November 16 that coronavirus deaths in Europe rose 5% in the previous week, making it the only region in the world where Covid-19 deaths increased.
Here’s the current situation of the countries in Europe:
- The country Austria is all set to impose lockdown from November 22 where it becomes the first EU country to take such a measure in the face of the Covid-19 resurgence. People 12 years and older are banned from going outside except for essential activities such as work, attending classes, grocery shopping, or for a walk. The number of police patrols has been increased and those found breaking the rules can be fined up to €1,450.
- German vice-chancellor Angela Merkel urged citizens to get vaccinated as the German government introduced tighter restrictions to curb the nation’s highest Covid-19 infection levels since the onset of the pandemic. In most regions, only the vaccinated and those who have recovered from the virus will be able to access public places such as restaurants or concert halls. Unvaccinated people will not be allowed to gather in public.
- Greece includes tougher limits on access to non-essential indoor venues and a seven-month expiration date on passes for over-60 year-olds who have not yet had a booster shot. Greece is suffering its highest rate of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic with deaths at their worst level in six months.
- Russia has continued to see an increase in the number of deaths and this has led to fear among investors who feel that measures to curb the cases could delay the economic recovery. Oil prices also fell on Friday to $78 a barrel as European markets struggled due to the recent surge in cases.
- The Netherlands allowed people to move freely as long as they followed social distancing and sanitization norms. But, after witnessing a surge in Covid cases, the Dutch caretaker government implemented a partial lockdown on November 13 that is due to run for at least three weeks, forcing bars and restaurants to close at 8 pm.
- The Swedish government announced that from December 1 a health pass will be required to attend any event of more than 100 people. The Covid pass- attesting that the holder has either been fully vaccinated, tested negative over the previous 72 hours, or recovered from the disease over the preceding six months, has so far only been used in Sweden for travel purposes. The government also reversed its November 1 decision to stop testing fully vaccinated people.