Corona strikes especially in Eastern Europe, first lockdowns a fact

Europe‘s ‘corona map‘ is increasingly redder. Especially in Eastern Europe, the number of registered infections has increased rapidly. The first lockdowns have been announced in Latvia and the Russian capital Moscow. Some other countries are also taking action, but others do not.

On the latest corona map of the European Health Centre ECDC, which was renewed last day, the following countries are shining red: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and large parts of Slovakia and Bulgaria. In the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Belgium and Finland, for example, the number of infections is worrying according to the ECDC.

In France, Portugal, Spain and Italy, there has been no significant increase in the number of infections:

The World Health Organization (WHO) also points out that the daily number of positive tests is increasing rapidly in many European countries. The potential cause is that Europeans are increasingly indoors as a result of falling temperatures, where the virus spreads faster.

WHO crisis director Mike Ryan also points to the fact that many countries, such as the Netherlands, have abolished basic rules. โ€œThe question now is: do we get the same experience as last year, where healthcare systems are again under pressure?โ€

High mortality rate

In Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia, for example, the answer is already clear. There, hospitals are steadily flooding with corona patients, especially because the vaccination rate is relatively low. For example, only a little more than one in three people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in Romania. The number of deaths among covid patients is the highest in the European Union compared to the population.

The great mistrust among Romanians with the government explains the low vaccination willingness, explains correspondent David-Jan Godfroid in this report:

This month, on average, a resident of Romania died of covid-19 every five minutes, calculated Reuters news agency. According to the news site BalkanInsight, President Johannis has announced new corona measures. This makes it mandatory to wear a face mask on the street, and a corona pass is introduced for many indoor activities.

Vaccinated one in four

In Bulgaria, the coronavirus rate is the second highest in the EU. About one in four residents have been vaccinated and the pressure on care is growing here too. On Tuesday, the government announced the introduction of a corona access ticket. That decision led to a demonstration in the capital Sofia last day. Several hundred people protested the arrival of the corona pass.

Although some 54% of citizens have been vaccinated in Latvia, more than double Bulgaria, it is also in the wrong direction. The strong contamination and hospitalization rates have led the government to decide on a new lockdown. It is the first EU country to be locked again, this time for four weeks. Bars and shops are closed and curfew applies.

In addition to Latvia, a new lockdown has been announced in Moscow. Starting next Thursday, shops, bars and restaurants will close and only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies are allowed to open. Schools and childcare in Moscow will also be closed until November 7.

In Russia, more than 36,000 new infections have been detected in the last 24 hours, and more than 1000 people died from corona according to official statistics. These numbers have never been that high since the pandemic outbreak. In Russia too, due to distrust of the authorities, few people have been vaccinated: about 32 percent of the population.

Earlier this week it became clear that unvaccinated over 60s in Moscow will have to stay at home compulsory for the next four months.

No new measures
The

number of positive tests is also increasing in a number of European countries with a much higher vaccination rate. This is the case in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, for example. Like the British government, the demissionary cabinet in The Hague does not see any reason for new corona measures for the time being.

The increase was to be expected in advance, the RIVM said this week. โ€œThe number of corona cases is increasing, but the rise in healthcare is lagging behind the number of infections,โ€ said Aura Timen of the RIVM. โ€œThat means that the protection of vaccinated persons does its job.โ€

In Belgium, where corona rates are also rising, the Minister for Health is calling for measures. Frank Vandenbroucke wants to expand the use of the corona pass and advocates the return of face masks, reports the VRT. โ€œWe’re obviously in a fourth wave.โ€ According to him, it is important not to panic, but to stay alert.