Even with a high vaccination rate, various other foreign factors are contributing to its rise in cases that other nations took lessons from
Covid-19 cases are ringing alarm bells in Europe yet again calling for the authorities to re-impose restrictions nationwide. Austria recently made Covid-19 vaccination a legal requirement from February next year. The country has also re-imposed a national lockdown as it continued to witness a record number of Covid-19 infections.
In Germany, chancellor Angela Merkel re-imposed tougher restrictions to restrain the spread of coronavirus. Some of the other European countries that are going through the worst phase of the pandemic are the Netherlands, Slovakia. Both the countries have made vaccination key to attending public places. In the Netherlands, un-vaccinated are not allowed at non-essential stores, while in Slovakia, the un-vaccinated need to get them tested twice every week to go to the office.
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The surge in the United Kingdom too is unprecedented. The World Health Organisation has warned that without tougher restrictions, half a million additional deaths can take place by next February in Europe. Nearly two-third of the new infections are from Europe. Even with a high vaccination rate, various other foreign factors are contributing to its rise in cases that other nations took lessons from. Hence, prolonged lull in cases and high vaccination rates is no guarantee to no resurgence of cases as experts have always pointed out.
Winter resurgence of cases
According to Scientist and former director of International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Virendra Singh, winter plays a role in the resurgence of transmissible diseases. Although there is no evidence supporting the faster spread of virus in winter, since most activities happen indoors due to drop in temperature, the setting becomes conducive for its spread.
Even lockdown made people stay indoors, but chances of free mixing of people was limited due to restrictions. Without lockdown, even when people stay indoors they will continue to gather increasing chances of transmission.
The United Kingdom for example saw record participation at this year’s climate change conference, higher than climate meets that took place in Paris or Copenhagen. Although entry to the event was permitted only to attendees with a negative test report and after taking a daily test, yet several infections took place, the numbers of which were never revealed. There were large gatherings by NGO, civil society outside the venue as well.
The blame is still not on the climate change conference in the UK for the surge but it’s hardly. week since it got over and if cases keep increasing in the next few days, , this could change and it will be assumed that the event triggered the cases. Apart from the vent, festive gatherings are also taking place in several European countries ahead of Christmas.
Breakthrough Covid-19 infections
Experts have also emphasized on vaccines being effective enough to reduce severe infection, hospitalisation and death and not prevent Covid-19 completely. With rise in cases in the US and the UK, where death numbers and hospitalisation did not rise as the cases, it has become all the more clear.
However, chances of breakthrough infections are high in Europe that had the lowest prevalence of Delta, the most transmissible and dangerous variant until now that can invade immunity, until summer. But with resurgence of cases, the Delta variant might have a role to play as most of the cases were caused by milder variants. As in India, the second wave was majorly caused by the Delta variant.
Vaccine hesitancy has become a game changer in the European population. The anti-vaccine sections of the population is significant and in the last few months there is pushback from people skeptical of it. Now, the rise in cases are making the case stronger for the anti-vaccination supporters.
As anti-vaccine segments got stronger in some parts of Europe, there were protests in many cities and even violent clashes with law enforcement authorities in some.