The epidemiological situation in Moldova remains unfavorable. There has been an increase in the number of new cases recently accompanied with a high proportion of patients in serious condition. Mortality rates remain on the rise as well. Against the background of the new virusstrains spread, all attention is focused on the vaccination campaign. Its promptness might predetermine the further pandemiccourse.
The World Health Organization officially declares a decrease in the spread of coronavirus infection. The daily increase in COVID-19 new cases has been steadily decreasing over the past weeks. “We are indeed seeing a decrease in the number of detected infections per day, and this is good news. This is due to a number of factors and primarily due to the measures that countries are using to interrupt virus transmission chains and prevent infecting other people,” WHO expert Maria van Kerkhovensaid. To date, 108.3 million cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the world (the mortality rate, meanwhile, remains within 3%, about 2.38 million people have already died).
At the same time, experts note the of the geography new strainsexpansion. Thus, a more infectious strain VOC-202012/01, known as “British” one, has been identified in 86 countries. The mutations found in South Africa (501Y.V2), Brazil and Japan (P.1) are taking over the world a little less rapidly. The WHO Emergency Committee is urging countries to increase research and share information on the genomic sequence of mutating pathogens.
This week, British experts identified 2 more COVID-19 mutations. Together with, the Bristolstrain is considered to be a “variant of concern”, since it has the same infectiousness and, according to preliminary data, it is able to resist the vaccine’saction to some extent. The mutation recorded in Liverpool is under investigation. In general, both new strains are similar to the South African one.
Other studiessupportthe importance of controlling new mutations as well. Scientists from the United States and France predict another coronavirus pandemic wave in early summer and emphasizethatby this time, all their scenarios predict the new the virus variants to become dominant. “Our model predicts that with new, more infectious options, high thresholds for triggering partial isolation will lead to an increase in the total number of infections and deaths per capita,” the scientists informed.
At the same time, experts noted that mortality rates, hospitalizations and the number of cases in 2021 will be lower than in 2020, but only if the authorities respond in a timely manner to the disease site. According to scientists, vaccinating the population worldwide will help to significantly reduce mortality. “The high vaccines efficacy against new, more infectious variants, and in particular their ability to block ongoing transmission, rather than just prevent symptoms, has the needed potential to prevent thousands of infections and save hundreds of lives,” the researchers note.
In light of such forecasts, the problem of access to vaccines is gaining global importance. Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Ghebreyesus, has recently reiterated his call on the countries developing vaccines to share it with others, so that, in particular, it would be possible to ensure rapid universal immunization of at least health workers.
The WHO chief underscored the more time it takes to vaccinate vulnerable groups, the more opportunities the virus will have for mutations, as a result of which it will lose sensitivity to drugs. Ghebreyesus urged vaccine manufacturers to scale production and to provide data on drugs more quickly to WHO so that the organization can consider their inclusion in the emergency use list.
To date, the number of vaccine doses administered has exceeded the number of reported infections. However, more than 75% of those vaccinations are in just10 developed countries, and 2.5 billion people in almost 130 countries do not have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Moldova is among them. The first batch of vaccines to our country through the COVAX international platform was promised first by the end of January, now by mid-February. However, it is not yet clear when the reserved Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca drugs will actually arrive in Moldova.
Meanwhile, the epidemiological situation in Moldova is deteriorating. “Over the past few days, the number of new cases of COVID infection has significantly increased. The epidemiological situation of COVID-19 infection in the Republic of Moldova remains unfavorable. There is a tendency towards the increasing number of cases of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” chief of the Epidemiological Influenza and Respiratory Infections Surveillance Department at the National Agency for Public Health Stefan Gheorghita said.
Official statistics reveals 167.5 thousand coronavirus cases in Moldova. At the same time, experts openly declare that the real number of patients with COVID-19 is unknown. In recent weeks, family doctors have recorded a two-fold reduction in the flow of patients with suspected coronavirus. Citizens refuse to go to doctors and use express tests and medicines prescribed to their acquaintances. Self-medication attempts lead to complications and an increased number of severe cases. If in the fall serious cases accounted for about 4% of the total number of infections, today they reach 14%. The number of moderate cases increased threefold compared to November. Mortality rates have also increased, with 3,607 deaths so far.
Against this background, uncertainty over vaccine supplies and the delay in vaccination campaigns are of particular importance. Especially given the expert assumptions that new, more infectious coronavirus strains have already reached Moldova and may lead to another outbreak.
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