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COVID-19

Europe remains at risk of Autumn Covid resurgence, WHO warns

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned Thursday that vaccination rates in Europe were still far off what was needed to stop a virus resurgence and called on countries to maintain protective measures.

Europe remains at risk of Autumn Covid resurgence, WHO warns
Guests sit outside a café after restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen outdoor seating amidst the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in Berlin, on May 22, 2021. Adam Berry / AFP

According to the organisation, 30 percent of people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 17 percent have been fully vaccinated in the WHO’s European Region — which spans 53 countries and territories and includes several in Central Asia.

“Although we have come far, we have not come far enough,” Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, told a press conference.

“Vaccination coverage is far from sufficient to protect the region from a resurgence. The distance to go before reaching at least 80 percent coverage of the adult population is still considerable,” Kluge added.

WHO Europe director Hans Kluge. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

He noted that the region had seen an overall decline in new cases, hospitalisations and deaths for two consecutive months, but urged nations to avoid repeating the “mistake” of last summer by easing measures prematurely, leading to a resurgence in the autumn.

“Over the course of last summer, cases gradually rose in younger age groups and then moved into older age groups, contributing to a devastating resurgence, lockdowns and loss of life, in the autumn and winter of 2020,” Kluge said.

He called on countries to take “last year’s lessons aboard,” by acting fast on signals of increasing cases, expanding testing and contact tracing, and “rapidly attaining very high vaccine uptake in the most vulnerable populations.”

He also called on people to “enjoy the summer safely” by adhering to health guidelines.

Member comments

  1. Lol does Europe/Germany want this pandemic to actually ever end? Like get it together and vaccinate everyone by the end of this summer so we can have normal lives again. Anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated has to be extra careful, but the rest of us, we need to go on and move on. But come on, another wave? Another lockdown? Another winter like this past year will destroy those of us who struggle with mental health. Make vaccination a priority. Vaccinate everyone everywhere asap. I don’t understand why it’s so hard here…….

  2. I read that the protection from the vaccination would last only for 6 months. So how does a vaccination from April to June make sense, when it is known that the Virus is mostly active in late autumn and winter?
    With this in mind: I wonder how 80% can reasonably be achieved for autumn and winter?

    1. That’s why they are discussing booster vaccinations..but if the rollout is as slow as the first ones were, another horrible winter. America may have had a lot more deaths, but in the end, they got their shit together. Here however…

      1. America had much lower mortality rate than many EU countries. If we were to put all the EU countries together, you would have more deaths than America. But it’s not the number of deaths, it’s the mortality rate and overall number of deaths per capita that matter. And there is a great deal of controversy over how some states counted covid deaths. If covid was present in a car accident fatality, for example, it was noted as a covid COD. And the number of excess deaths for 2020 do not support the number of covid deaths. It’s all smoke and mirrors in the end. And the WHO, as we saw in January 2020 when they declared on the 14th that there is no human-to-human transmission, is a feckless organization of bureaucrats from the scientific community under the control of, or at least under the heavy influence of the CCP.

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COVID-19

French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The French parliament has passed the controversial health bill which updates France's emergency provisions for Covid - and allows the return of negative Covid tests for all travellers at the border, if the health situation requires.

French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The Loi sanitaire was eventually approved by the Assemblée nationale on Monday after several variations and amendments added on its passage through the Assemblée and the Senate. It was voted on and passed Tuesday, May 26th. 

The bill replaces the State of Health Emergency that has been in place since March 2020 and puts in place provision for government actions should the health situation deteriorate or a dangerous new variant of Covid emerge.

The original text had a provision for the return of the health pass at the border, but this has now been scrapped and instead the government has the right to make a negative Covid test a condition of entry for all travellers.

At present negative tests are required only for unvaccinated travellers, and the new test requirement would only be put into force if a dangerous new variant emerges.

The government will be able to implement the testing rule by decree for two months, but a further parliamentary debate would be required to extend it beyond that.

From August 1st the State of Health Emergency will be formally repealed, which means that the government no longer has the power to introduce major limits on personal freedom such as lockdowns or curfews without first having a debate in parliament.

The bill also allows for an extension of data collection required for the SI-DEP epidemic monitoring tools such as the contact tracing app Tous Anti Covid until June 30th, 2023 and Contact Covid until January 31st, 2023. 

The most controversial measure in the bill was the reinstatement of healthcare workers who were suspended for being unvaccinated – this actually only involves a couple of hundred people but medical unions and the medical regulator Haut Autorité de Santé (HAS) have both been against it.

However the bill allows for the eventual lifting of the requirement for Covid vaccination for healthcare workers, when the HAS judges it is no longer necessary and once the requirement is lifted, the suspended healthcare workers will be reinstated “immediately”.

The bill was approved on Monday evening with 184 votes to 149, the result of a joint committee that was able to harmonise the versions of the Assembly and the Senate.

The final vote passed the Senate on Tuesday.

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