To date, 69.9% of the region’s population received at least one dose of the anticovid vaccines, a percentage considered insufficient to combat the increase in cases.
Driven by the drop in temperatures, the increase in coronavirus infections in Europe in recent weeks has forced several countries to take additional measures to combat the rebound in cases, which threatens to become a new wave of the pandemic.
According warned last weekend the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe, Hans Kluge, half a million people could die on the continent by March 2022 if urgent action is not taken. This Tuesday the WHO Regional Office in Europe raised that prediction to 700,000, informs AP.
The data of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control counting from November 14 to November 21 1,722,190 new cases of covid-19 and 12.719 deaths disease in the European Union and the European Economic Area. Meanwhile, 316,713,587 people (that is, the 69,9 % of the region’s population) received at least one dose of the covid vaccines.
Faced with these insufficiently high vaccination figures, several EU countries opted to tighten health measures in an attempt to curb the increase in infections.
Thus, the authorities of Austria announced last November 19 a new confinement which came into effect on Monday and will run for 20 days. In a parallel measure, the country introduced the mandatory vaccination for the entire population starting next February 1. To date, 64.4% of the country’s inhabitants was inoculated with the complete guideline.
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, The authorities they forbade unvaccinated people attend public events and closed spaces such as hotels and bars. According to the Slovak Prime Minister, Eduard Heger, the country does not rule out following the example of Austria and is considering introducing a confinement of about three weeks, informs Reuters.
Parallel, Belgium tightened restrictions by introducing last Wednesday a mandatory teleworking regime at least 4 days a week, as well as the mandatory use of masks in all enclosed spaces, reports the agency.
New restrictions were also introduced in Netherlands, where the government decree a partial closure and, among other measures, prohibition of fireworks on New Year’s Eve and the implantation of the so-called 2G policy, which allows only people vaccinated or recovered from covid-19 to go to different public places.
With 68.7% of the country’s population vaccinated with at least one dose, the Dutch health system was forced to to delay cancer and heart patient operations to free up space in intensive care units to care for coronavirus patients.
On the other hand, in France, the high percentage of vaccinated has permitted prevent a massive influx of patients to hospitals despite the arrival of a fifth wave of the pandemic that “it started like lightning”, as expressed on Sunday the spokesman for the French Government, Gabriel Attal.
Germany’s sad record
Germany, the country that currently registers the most infections in the EU, set a record of more than 65,000 cases newspapers on November 18 and reported 45,326 infections and 309 deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to data of the WHO. However, the numbers of vaccinated seem to be stagnant in recent weeks, with 67.5% of the population He received at least one dose.
Given the situation, Berlin agreed introduce 2G and 2G + policies (which, apart from the vaccination or recovery certificate, will also require a negative covid-19 test to go to bars or events) when hospitalization rates exceed the threshold set by the country’s health authorities .
Meanwhile, the German Health Minister, Jens Spahn, urged to the population to be vaccinated stating that “almost everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, cured or dead“at the end of winter.
The low percentage of vaccinations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – where 67.05% of the population was inoculated with at least one dose – compared to other European countries led several media to link this fact with the skepticism towards vaccines characteristic of the anthroposophy, a philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner that advocates that diseases must be overcome in a natural way, points out AFP.
Wave of protests
The new restrictions sparked intense protests in several countries on the continent.
In the Netherlands, the Police job water cannons and even resorted to the use of firearms to disperse the protesters who marched in Rotterdam last Friday. Protests they continued until Sunday and spread to several cities in the country, such as Enschede, where the congregation used fireworks, set fire to various objects and threw stones at police cars.
In Austria, about 35,000 people They left to the streets of Vienna to protest the lockdown on Saturday and demand the lifting of the restrictions, according to AP. The concentrates launched bottles, beer cans and fireworks at the 1,300 police officers who were deployed in the city.
The protests were also recorded in Italy, where some 3,000 people marched through the streets of Rome to show their rejection of the health pass.
On Sunday, tens of thousands of people they participated in Brussels in a demonstration rejecting the restrictions imposed by the Belgian authorities. The protest led to clashes with the police, who used water cannons and tear gas.
Meanwhile, France decree the curfew on the island of Guadeloupe after the fourth consecutive day of protests against anticovid measures in this overseas department located in the Caribbean.