A new strain of coronavirus dictates its own rules to Europeans. As, indeed, the whole world. New tough measures and their easing, queues for testing and record numbers – how the countries of Europe live during the omicron wave.
In Germany, for the first time, the number of new infections per day has overcome the level of 100,000. Residents of the country spend an hour or more in long queues for testing. The Ministry of Health is preparing a law on mandatory vaccination against coronavirus, which is expected to come into force in May.
In the UK, the Prime Minister intends to lift the current restrictions – telecommuting and wearing masks from next week. Experts believe that soon the coronavirus will pass into the seasonal diseases. Sajid Javid, Health Minister says:
“We will have to learn to live with covid the way we learned to live with the flu.”
Anxiety reigns in Romania. Only 40% of the population has been vaccinated in the country, and the number of new cases is breaking records for the second day. Over the past day, the number of infected has doubled, the authorities are officially talking about the fifth wave of the pandemic.
No less alarming in Poland – more than 30,000 cases every day, the unpreparedness of hospitals and an increase in the number of severe forms. Experts believe that from next week the number of cases will double.
Last Tuesday, France recorded its highest rate of the entire period of the pandemic – almost half a million cases of infection in 24 hours and 375 deaths, which is 4 times more than last Sunday.
In Russia, there is an increase in the number of cases, and the authorities are adjusting the measures taken. The quarantine period for carriers of the virus will be reduced from 2 weeks to 7 days, and sick leave will be issued in absentia.
The explosion in new coronavirus cases in Sweden has affected critical services, with many police officers and bus drivers testing positive and some police stations closed. Radio Sweden reported yesterday:
“About 3,000 police officers, 10% of the Swedish police force, are sick or in quarantine.”
Swedish television has reported that approximately 10% of bus drivers in the western province of Värmland have fallen ill, and 40-50 routes a day have been cancelled. Michael Bergman, who is in charge of relevant services in the area, says: “The situation is serious.” The total number of coronavirus cases in the country has exceeded 1.7 million, up 200,000 from last week. media with reference to official data. Over the past day, the country with a population of 10.4 million recorded the largest number of new cases – about 43,000, and 67 new deaths from complications of the disease. The previous “record” of 26,566 cases was set on January 12. The Swedish government announced new restrictions this month as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly and puts pressure on the country’s healthcare system.
WHO worries about the huge gap between countries in terms of herd immunity. Experts say that with a more even vaccination, the peak of the pandemic would have been passed already this year. Michael Ryan, Director of Programs at the Organization for Health Emergencies, says:
“We may never be done with this virus, pandemic pathogens eventually become part of the ecosystem. But we could be done with the health crisis.”