Another 700,000 could die of covid-19 in the European zone. Calls for increased vaccination do not stall confrontations and resistance to measures.
A Europe between hesitation about vaccines, doubts about its mandatory nature, the strength of the delta variant and the desire to protest against new restrictions, is feeling the force of the pandemic and causing a growing social division on the continent. Another 700,000 people could die from covid-19 in the European region by spring, warned the World Health Organization (WHO), and the reason seems clear: without vaccination there are more cases; with more cases there are more restrictions; more measures cause new protests; new protests increase social difficulties to implement health decisions; and more trouble to contain cases means more radical decisions.
The situation on the European continent worsens: the WHO estimates that, by March 2022, the number of deaths on the European continent will exceed two million. The organization’s projections suggest that 25 countries in the European region that the organization of the United Nations system assesses – made up of 53 States in Europe and Central Asia – are at risk of recording a shortage of hospital beds and 49 will have, by March, a situation great or extreme burden of intensive care services.
Last week, the number of daily deaths doubled, to 4200, and the number of fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic has surpassed 1.5 million people, this figure, if we add the projected 700 thousand, to increase to 2.2 million by March 2022.
Von der Leyen elogia Portugal
In an exhortation for everyone to follow science, the president of the European Commission insisted on the importance of vaccination to overcome the pandemic, giving the example of Portugal to demonstrate the effectiveness of vaccines.
Ursula von der Leyen also highlighted the “huge disparities” in the EU, with the vaccination rate of the adult population varying between 29 and 92%.
The rapid transmission is due, according to the WHO, to other factors as well: the dominance of the delta variant, the lifting of restrictions in summer, the drop in temperatures and the consequent increase in meetings in closed spaces.
Measurements and mandatory vaccination
Germany is in a “dramatic situation”, according to Angela Merkel, and debates the introduction of new restrictions. In the Netherlands, two dozen demonstrators were arrested in violent clashes against government measures. Austria entered total confinement yesterday, after forcing the entire population to be vaccinated, an unprecedented decision, but one that could create a less-than-consensual trend.
Like the Austrians, Slovakia announced the introduction of restrictions for unvaccinated people Slovakia and the Czech Republic are already banning the unvaccinated from public spaces, urgent measures similar to those initially decided by Austria, which were later tightened. As an analyst at “The Guardian” noted yesterday, countries that are fighting outbreaks and low vaccination rates, “will be attentive to the mandatory decision by Austria, possibly as a guide for the coming times.”
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Covid pushes Europe into social and health crisis