The World Health Organization (WHO) was alarmed, Thursday, November 4, of the pace “Very worrying” transmission of Covid-19 in Europe, which could lead to half a million additional deaths on the continent by February. Germany in particular is hit by a fourth wave « massive », according to Angela Merkel’s government.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 5,020,845 people worldwide since the World Health Organization (WHO) office in China reported the onset of the disease at the end of December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official sources Thursday, November 4. Europe alone has recorded more than 1.4 million deaths.
WHO worries about “very worrying” transmission rate
The World Health Organization was alarmed on Thursday at the pace “Very worrying” transmission of Covid-19 currently in Europe, which could lead to half a million additional deaths on the continent by February. “We are, again, at the epicenter”, lamented the director of WHO Europe, Hans Kluge, during an online press conference. “If we stay on this trajectory, we could see another half a million deaths from Covid-19 in the region by February”, he said.
For the WHO, the increase in cases is explained by the combination of insufficient vaccination coverage and the relaxation of anti-Covid-19 measures. According to these data from WHO Europe, hospitalizations linked to Covid-19 “Have more than doubled in one week”. The number of new cases per day has been on the rise for almost six consecutive weeks in Europe, and the number of new deaths per day has been on the rise for just over seven consecutive weeks, with around 250,000 cases and 3,600 daily deaths, according to official data by country compiled by AFP.
The organization called for continued massive use of masks in the face of the pandemic. “Reliable projections show that if we achieve a 95% use rate of masks in Europe and Central Asia, we could save up to 188,000 lives out of the half a million lives we risk losing.” here in February 2022 », noted Mr. Kluge.
Germany hit by a fourth, “massive” wave
For its part, Germany is hit by a fourth wave, « massive », especially affecting the unvaccinated, according to the government of Angela Merkel. The country recorded an unprecedented number of new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, with 33,949 additional cases in twenty-four hours, according to the Robert-Koch Institute. The previous record was reached on December 18, 2020, with 33,777 new infections.
“We are currently experiencing a pandemic, mainly unvaccinated, and it is massive”, ruled Wednesday the Minister of Health, Jens Spahn. “The fourth wave of the pandemic is developing, unfortunately, as we feared, because the number of vaccinated is not sufficient”, joined the president of the Robert-Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler.
“If the situation continues to deteriorate in hospitals regionally, then it is possible that new restrictions will be put in place only for the unvaccinated.”, warned Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for the government. Mr. Spahn called on all regions, competent in health matters, to toughen the rules for the unvaccinated by preventing them from entering certain public places or by requiring an expensive PCR test. Some, such as Saxony or Baden-Württemberg, have implemented such measures or are about to do so.
The majority of American employees required to be vaccinated by January 4
Tens of millions of American employees will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by January 4, under penalty of having to undergo very regular tests, announced Thursday the administration of the president, Joe Biden. This vaccination obligation, which affects employees of companies with more than 100 people, medical workers and employees of federal agency contractors, is one of the most radical measures taken by the United States government. to try to stem the epidemic that is undermining the economic recovery.
President Biden had unveiled the measure, which is expected to affect more than two-thirds of the country’s workforce in September during a White House speech. The opportunity, he said, to ” turn the page “ coronavirus and tighten the screws on the millions of Americans who still refuse to be vaccinated.
Several companies, including the meat giant Tyson Foods or the airline United Airlines, had already prepared the ground by imposing vaccination on their employees at the end of September. The latest, the automaker Ford has required its 32,000 employees to be vaccinated by December 8 except in the case of religious or medical exemption, according to several US media.
UK approves Merck’s Covid-19 pill
The United Kingdom announced Thursday that it was the first country to authorize molnupiravir, a pill treatment against Covid-19 developed by the American laboratory Merck.
“Today is a historic day for our country as the UK is now the first country in the world to approve an antiviral that can be taken at home against Covid-19”Health Minister Sajid Javid said in a statement. “This will be a game-changer for the most vulnerable and the immunocompromised, who will soon be able to receive the revolutionary treatment”, he rejoiced.
Marketed as Lagevrio, molnupiravir has been approved by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (or MHRA, for Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, in English), for use in people with mild to moderate Covid who have at least one risk factor for developing serious illness (obesity, over 60, diabetes, heart disease). Health authorities recommend that it be taken “As soon as possible after a positive test”, said the Ministry of Health.
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Covid-19: the rate of transmission in Europe, especially in Germany, is “very worrying”, according to the WHO