COVID cases and lockdown measures make a comeback in Europe

The end of COVID-19?
Uneven vaccination
Russian concerns
Worrying numbers
Lockdown in all but name
COVID-19 hits Romania
EU aids Romania
Bulgaria, second-to-the-last
Baltic performance
Leaders of the EU vaccination effort
Race against time and COVID
Delta plus found in the UK
A British conundrum
Delta plus spreads
Too relaxed in the summer
No time to let the guard down
The end of COVID-19?

For many people in developed countries, it’s easy to think that the COVID-19 outbreak is coming to an end. After all, according to the European Center of Disease Control around 80% of the EU adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. In the United States, it’s over 65%. Nonetheless, while some places are returning to normalcy, others put back restrictions as the number of cases rise. Pictured is a burial in Romania.

Uneven vaccination

The main issue is that vaccination is not being done in the same pace across all countries, which puts at risk the entire global effort against COVID from the past months.

Russian concerns

Russia, the first country to patent a vaccine, has heavily promoted the Sputnik V in developing countries. Nonetheless, according to The New York Times, less than 40% of the Russian population have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Polls also show that a big percentage don't want to get the shots.

Worrying numbers

The Johns Hopkins Center reports that daily cases in Russia have soared from 20,000 in late September to around 35,000 in one month. COVID-related deaths have hit record numbers, with an average of 1,000 every day. This has been a great deal of concern for the Russian government.

Lockdown in all but name

President Vladimir Putin announced new restrictions: Starting on October 30, non-essential workers are encouraged to stay at home for a seven-day “non-working” period. Schools, shops and restaurants will be closed. This measure has been described by some experts as a lockdown in all but name.

COVID-19 hits Romania

Romania is another country that has been hit pretty severely by coronavirus in the past weeks. The Eastern European country with 19 million inhabitants is currently facing its highest death toll since the beginning of the pandemic. It also has the biggest mortality rate in Europe.

EU aids Romania

The European Union has recently approved aid to help Romania, which has been forced to send patients to neighbouring Hungary. President Klaus Iohannis has recently announced stricter restrictions to the people without vaccination who make up 60% of the population.

Bulgaria, second-to-the-last

Bulgaria faces a similar problem, with 80% of its 9,2 million inhabitants unvaccinated and a healthcare system working at full capacity.

Baltic performance

The Baltic countries of Latvia and Estonia have been performing better than Romania and Bulgaria but are still lagging behind the EU average with under 60% of their population fully vaccinated and a concerning number of growing cases.

Leaders of the EU vaccination effort

Countries like Germany, France, Spain and Italy lead the numbers of vaccinated population within the EU. However, this doesn't mean they shouldn't be paying attention to what's going on in other European countries.

Race against time and COVID

The correlation between the number of people vaccinated and the increase in mortality rates is especially concerning, because the new variants of COVID-19 continue to mutate.

Delta plus found in the UK

This is the problem that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the rest of the British government is facing, due to the effects of the delta variant and the emergence of the a new mutation labelled "delta plus".

A British conundrum

The UK has become something of a conundrum for COVID experts: The country has vaccinated around 70% of its inhabitants, yet it has one of the highest infection rates within the European continent, seven times more than France, Spain or Italy.

Delta plus spreads

British health officials claim it's still too early to say if the new mutation poses a greater risk than the highly-infectious delta variant. NBC also reports that the new strain has been found in the US and in Israel.

Too relaxed in the summer

Some news outlets, such as British newspaper The Guardian, pin the increase in infections to the government dropping most restrictions during the summer. Most other countries in Western Europe kept the restrictions in some form.

No time to let the guard down

What is true is that coronavirus appears to be far from over. Although Europe and the rest of the world appears to be in the cusp of turning the tide against COVID, it's no time to let the guard down.

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