The next wave of coronavirus infection tightly covered the European space: in many countries the situation is getting out of control. Europe is tightening sanitary measures and returning restrictions. The way epidemiological crisis in Moldova is developing against this background, see in the RTA expert Marina Dragalin’s submission.
Despite all the measures taken, the new coronavirus infection continues taking the world over. Yesterday, another world anti-record for the number of new cases was set: more than 478 thousand new cases were registered per day. The previous record was broken by 15%. To date, COVID-19 has affected more than 42 million people, out of which more than 1.14 million have died. A high proportion of those infected are in serious or critical condition.
There are more and more statements about the situation getting out of control in the European space and there are grounds for. Switzerland, that three weeks ago demonstrated the best results in Europe in containing the epidemic, is talking about rapid deterioration now. For several days in a row, Italy breaks records in the increase in new cases and if in the peak spring period the number of new cases did not exceed 6.5 thousand per day, now we are talking about more than 16 thousand. The sharply growing rate of deaths and intensive care patients gets the situation more aggravated.
Situation in the Czech Republic becomes alarming, a record increase in cases was recorded this week as well. The Institute of Medical Information and Statistics even published a model of the situation, according to which, while maintaining the current rate of COVID-19 spread, by the second week of November, the number of infected in the country will increase by more than 2.5 times and reach 330 thousand. Since Wednesday, restrictions have been tightened in the Czech Republic: only pharmacies and stores with groceries and essential goods remained open, workers were transferred to a remote location and citizens were allowed to leave their homes only for good reasons.
Measures are also being tightened in France. In particular, the list of departments with a curfew introduced has significantly expanded. Beginning with tomorrow, the restriction on streets moving from 21:00 to 6:00 will affect almost 70% of the French population. French authorities warn that “the coming weeks are to be difficult.” “The number of victims will grow, our health care system will face difficult trials,” underlined French Prime Minister Jean Castex. Particular attention was drawn to the fact that the virus progresses within all age groups. “Half of the patients in intensive care units are people under 60 years old; out of them a fifth are under the age of 40,” medical expert Etienne Gaia commented on the situation.
Spain crisis deserves special attention because on Wednesday, it became the first country in the European Union and the sixth country in the world to cross the 1 million mark. “We are in the middle of the second wave, this is no longer a threat, this is reality. In some parts of our country, the epidemic is no longer under control, so we need more drastic measures,” the Spanish minister said yesterday.
In fact, Europe has entered the second autumn-winter wave of the epidemic promised in spring. It could be contained through the herd immunity or mass vaccination. However, neither the first nor the second has been achieved so far.
According to the head of the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology named after Pasteur, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Areg Totolian, the population immunity to COVID-19 is still in the process of formation. The expert clarifies that, while an individual who has recovered from an infection needs at least one or one-and-a-half months to acquire immunity, then the herd immunity development takes even more time. At the same time, to avoid epidemic, the immune layer should be 60-70%, and to eliminate the increased incidence – 90%.
With regard to vaccination, according to the World Health Organization forecasts, it will be launched no earlier than the first half of the next year, as was expressly stated by Michael Ryan, Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program. The WHO expert also noted that the organization is working to ensure equal access to vaccination.
Against the general European background, the situation in Moldova in recent days no longer looks like an emergency. The rate of new cases detection has slowed down: the peak value of 833 cases is significantly lower than the indicators of the previous week, when numbers approached and often exceeded 1000. However, it is premature to talk about a decrease in the epidemic spreading. Almost 3 thousand infected people remain hospitalized, and about 8 thousand more are being treated at home. 1641 people died from the coronavirus in Moldova.
At the same time, the Moldovan health policy remains strongly linked to the current electoral processes. All the latest statements made by the authorities, and even extension of the current COVID-19 preventative and control measures until the end of November, in fact, are more illustrative than meaningful. If the situation looks quite appropriate in official reports, then, according to the executive director of the Expert-Grup independent analytical center Adrian Lupusor, “the ineffective management of the pandemic by the authorities further aggravated the economic situation in the country.” According to the expert, the coronavirus crisis aftermath will cost Moldova 2 billion euros.
Despite a short pause in the constantly increasing rate of the disease in Moldova observed until this week, we should not relax. On the contrary, now we need to start active preparations for the influx of new cases, which is obviously inevitable both due to the epidemiological situation in neighboring countries and in connection with the traditional seasonal exacerbation of respiratory diseases.
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