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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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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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