Covid chaos grips the East and uncertainty haunts the West , Europe is entering its second pandemic winter

Western Europe is also witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases, despite some countries enjoying universal vaccine coverage. Germany's Covid incidence rate on Saturday reached 100 new infections per 100,000 residents for the first time since May.

Covid chaos grips the East and uncertainty haunts the West ,  Europe is entering its second pandemic winter
Covid chaos grips the East and uncertainty haunts the West

Lockdowns, rising cases and a vaccine division are beginning Europe's second pandemic winter, bringing chaos to Eastern European countries and uncertainty to the West. Despite the wider availability of vaccines this winter than last, Europe is the only part that has recorded a surge in new Covid-19 cases globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. This is the third consecutive week that the region has registered a surge in cases.

According to data from the European Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the suffering has been intense in Eastern Europe and Russia, with rising deaths and vaccine hesitation reducing the coverage rate to 24%. last Thursday. Latvia became the first country in the European Union to impose a lockdown as the country struggles with a spike in cases amid low vaccinations. Only 56% of all adults took both doses of JAB, compared to the EU average of 74.6%.

Western Europe is also witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases, despite some countries enjoying universal vaccine coverage. Germany's Covid incidence rate on Saturday reached 100 new infections per 100,000 residents for the first time since May.

According to the ECDC, Belgium, along with Ireland, is seeing one of the highest number of cases in Western Europe at 325.76 and 432.84 per 100,00 people respectively. Belgium's Health Minister Frank Vandenbrücke told broadcaster VRT on Wednesday that the country was in a fourth wave. . More than 85% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated, and officials say the vast majority of hospitalized Covid-19 patients were unvaccinated, Reuters reported.

Different vaccination rates have put Europe's east and west on two different tracks, but what they share are higher rates due to the relaxation of pandemic restrictions, as economies open, people home in colder climates. Driven inside, and the highly permeable delta variant, is now the dominant strain in the region, said global health expert Dr. Peter Drobac told CNN.

Vaccine hesitation

Caseloads may be higher in some Western European countries, but thanks to vaccines, Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations have remained largely flat compared to their Eastern counterparts. From Monday, Romania will reimpose night curfews and make health passes mandatory for most places, days after it recorded 19.25 deaths per million people - one of the world's highest Covid-19 death rates per capita.

People protest against Covid-19 restrictions in Bulgaria on October 20 as cases skyrocket in the region. Romania's crisis is nothing short of a vaccine shortage. European Union countries have access to all EU-approved shots, but like many countries from the Baltic to the Balkans, Romania's vaccine rollout has been hampered by vaccine hesitancy, poor government messaging and skepticism from officials. According to the ECDC, only 35.6% of its adult population is fully vaccinated.

Neighboring Ukraine on Thursday reported the highest daily number of Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, at 22,415 cases, days after President Volodymyr Zelensky prompted citizens to get vaccinated, saying it would be under lockdown. was the only way to stop it. There are two paths at this crossroads: vaccination or lockdown," Zelensky said in a television interview with Ukrainian broadcast channel ICTV on Monday. "Every day we face this challenge and this choice. I am completely against the lockdown... because of the economy."

But as of Friday, schools in Ukrainian Covid hotspots were closed and the government announced a vaccine certificate or a negative test for access to public transport in the capital, after daily deaths reached a record 614, according to Reuters. Russia is ending its worst phase. Epidemic. Moscow began a 10-day lockdown on Monday as its officials openly admitted the country was facing a severe winter. It recorded the highest number of daily cases and deaths at times in recent days, and on Wednesday recorded a record 1,028 official deaths.

A health care and nursing assistant stands in the Covid-19 Intensive Care Unit at Essen University Hospital in Germany. During a press conference last Tuesday, Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said Covid-19 vaccine passes would remain in place for indoor hospitality and events, masks would remain mandatory in indoor public places, and indoor hospitality would be limited to table service only. . Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies programme, needs to not "sleepwalk" Europe over the lockdowns and deaths last winter. , said on Wednesday. We don't know what will be the duration of the pandemic in two months, three months' time...we have to be a little cautious...a little careful."