- The latest wave of Covid cases is hitting Europe with a vengeance.
- Some countries have responded by imposing partial lockdowns and more restrictions on unvaccinated people.
- Germany broke a new record on Thursday, reporting more than 65,000 new cases.
- Some German health officials are warning that the true number of cases could be two or three times higher.
LONDON – The latest wave of Covid-19 cases is hitting Europe with a vengeance with many countries seeing record numbers of daily infections, imposing partial lockdowns and more restrictions on unvaccinated people.
Germany broke a new record on Thursday Reporting over 65,000 new casesHealth officials have warned that the true number of cases could be two or three times higher.
in the neighboring Netherlands, More than 20,000 new cases were reported on Wednesday, a new record for the third day in a row, and in France, where the fifth wave of the pandemic is brewing, The number of new cases crossed 20,000 on Wednesday, a level not reached since August 25, Reuters reported.
While the Netherlands and Austria have introduced partial lockdowns, other countries are desperate to avoid implementing the same full or medium-scale lockdown measures as in 2020, as they do economic harm instead of opting for more COVID rules and a COVID passport. can.
In Belgium, new COVID measures mandating work from home and the use of indoor masks have been announced, amid Europe’s fastest rise in infections.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Cru is keen to avoid another lockdown, however, telling CNBC’s Silvia Amaro on Wednesday that while the uptick in cases was not as dramatic as previous waves to widespread vaccination.
Nonetheless, he said, “our hospitals are under increasing pressure so we should be prudent, but with prudent measures we should be able to avoid locking down parts of our society or economy.”
Read more: Belgium announces new COVID restrictions, but PM vows to avoid lockdown
COVID passes or passports are becoming the norm across Europe, and state a person’s COVID status (whether vaccinated or recovered from the virus). However, they are not without controversy, and as such are leading to an increasing number of nearby public places – from bars and movie theaters to Christmas markets – being segregated, with access to vaccinated people, but Restricted to unaffiliated people.
Germany’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the prime ministers of 16 of the country’s states on Thursday to discuss her country’s national response to what she described yesterday as a “dramatic” situation.
Germany’s states are largely free to determine their own COVID responses and public health measures, which led to individual actions for the pandemic in the state, although the government has imposed lockdowns and other restrictive measures on areas with high infection rates. Temporary powers have been sought for implementation.
As it stands, Germany’s state of emergency, which enabled the government to exercise tighter control over public health issues, is set to end on November 25.
Some state health ministers have urged officials to extend the state of emergency (as it allows states to impose measures such as lockdowns or school closures) but are currently in talks to form a new government. The three parties have agreed to allow the state of emergency to end next week. ,
Read more: Merkel warns fourth Covid wave is hitting Germany ‘with all its might’
Deutsche Welle said Thursday’s new Covid case count of 65,371 new cases, the first time since the start of the pandemic that the number has exceeded 60,000 in a single day. It also reported that the true number of cases could be much higher, said Lothar Weiler, head of the country’s infectious disease agency, the Robert Koch Institute.
“The under-reporting of the true numbers is increasing,” Weiler said during an online discussion with Michael Kreischmer, the head of state of Saxony, which has the highest seven-day incidence rate of Covid in Germany.
Weiler said he believed there were cases “twice or three times a day” than were actually reported. “We are in an emergency. Anyone who refuses to see it is making a big mistake,” he said on Wednesday.
The fact that Germany is witnessing such a sharp rise in cases, especially considering that the country was widely praised with its initial strategy to tackle the Covid outbreak.
Extensive testing and tracing, and a modern health care network helped the country keep deaths down compared to its neighbors, although the gap has narrowed. So far, it has recorded more than 5.1 million cases of the virus and nearly 100,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. For comparison, France has registered over 7.3 million cases and just over 118,000 deaths.
As vaccination programs were launched across Europe in late 2020 and early 2021, Germany was uncharacteristically sluggish and had to launch a vaccination campaign to encourage it.
Read more: Germany was once praised for its COVID response. It is now seeing 50,000 cases a day, prompting a dramatic warning