Saturday, April 17, 2021

Europe has missed an opportunity to stop the third wave. America may be ahead


On Monday, large parts of Italy, including the cities of Rome and Milan, re-entered Strict lockoutWhereas in Spain, it has been decided to prohibit travel on the upcoming Easter holidays in all regions except Madrid. The German capital of Berlin has also halted the planned relaxation of its lockdown, citing the increasing number of Kovid-19 cases.

Critics say that new sanctions have come too late and that Europe’s current problems can be traced even to politicians who are eager to get started easily.

French epidemiologist Catherine Hill told CNN, “The second wave did not end, the lockdown was interrupted too soon, for people to go shopping for Christmas.” He said that the level of infection remained high. “Has recently entered intensive care units [been increasing] Regularly, and the situation is now important in many parts of the country, including more and more Paris. “

a More infectious versions of the virusKnown as B.1.1.7, the common culprit seems to be behind the chaos. New preliminary data published in the British Medical Journal shows that stress was first revealed in the United Kingdom last year, Can also be more fatal.

Alessandro Grimaldi, director of infectious diseases at the Salvatore Hospital in the Italian city of L’Aquila, told CNN that the new and more contagious variant had “changed the game, adding that” essentially, measures taken to prevent infection Want to be more. Horrific. “

The World Health Organization warned of this about two months ago, when it became clear that the UK version was circulating in most of Europe. “Once it becomes prominent, it can affect the epidemic curve overall and lead to the need for a more restrictive approach to public health and social measures, so that transmission rates can be reduced,” WHO Senior Emergency Officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood said at the time.

Which has now happened. Germany’s Center for Disease Control announced on 10 March that the UK version had become a major strain in Germany. The new version is also responsible for the majority of new cases in France and Italy, according to health officials there. In Spain, B.1.1.7 is now the dominant stressor in nine of the country’s 19 regions.

The worsening situation in Europe is becoming a cautionary tale for the United States. The renewed version of the crisis is spreading rapidly across the continent in the US as well. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates this Will become major stress By the end of this month or early April in the United States.

But there is another reason why American experts are concerned about what is happening in Europe right now.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain all avoided the huge increase in infections Cripple the united kingdom After the Christmas holiday. His infection levels were either stable or showing signs of deterioration a few weeks earlier. With the vaccination rollout beginning, slowly, across the continent, people were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But even when the trends looked promising, the number of cases was still very high. And a bigger problem became when the new wave started – making the new lockdown necessary, Grimaldi said.

“Lockdown is not easy to do, because it brings a change in lifestyle … due to economic disappointment,” he said. “But they are indispensable in trying to stop the virus.”

He said data from a recent university study in Bologna showed that the most stringent lockdown measures, referred to as “red areas” in Italy, work – leading to a 91% drop in the number of Kovid-related deaths.

Delay in decision to impose lockdown can be fatal. The British think tank The Resolution Foundation said on Thursday that an additional 27,000 people died in addition to the Kovid-19 as the government delayed starting the country’s latest lockdown until January, despite evidence of fast-growing cases in December.

US public health officials are worried The US is heading in the same direction – with the ease of safeguards being introduced in some states as the number of cases increases. “When you look at a plateau at a high of 60,000 cases a day, there is a very weak time to come back. Dr. Anthony FauciThe director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN.

He observed that after promising the Kovid-19 number to decline, some European countries “pulled back on public health measures” that led to new spikes.

Mike Tildesley, an infectious disease modeling specialist at the University of Warwick and a scientific adviser to the UK government, said the slow rollout of vaccines in many European countries means they are at greater risk of seeing large waves of new cases. “Sadly, until countries get closer to herd immunity, we are likely to see waves of infection, as countries cycle between stages of lockdown,”

Grimaldi said that when vaccination plays a major role in fighting the epidemic, it has to go hand-in-hand with safeguards, because the more the virus continues to roam the population, the more likely it is to mutate further is. “The virus will try to survive despite the vaccine, so the lockdown is really the only way to prevent the virus from transmitting,” he said.

Without a global vaccine plan, the coronavirus variant can cause untold numbers of deaths

A new model published in The Lancet magazine on Thursday showed that vaccination alone may not be enough to stop the epidemic, with restrictions need to be gradually relaxed rather than a big bang restart.

French epidemiologist Hill said that testing should also be an important part of the strategy. “Controlling the epidemic requires testing populations on a large scale to find and isolate the carriers of the virus,” she said, pointing to an estimated 50% of infections that are caused by those Those who do not know they have Kovid-19.

The new wave of high case numbers is not limited to Europe. According to the WHO’s latest status report, case numbers have increased by 10% compared to the previous week.

The number of new cases increased in early January, but then declined for four consecutive weeks before increasing for the past three weeks. The death toll is still decreasing and has come down to 60,000 per week last week, the first time it has happened since the beginning of November.

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