Should Moldova Expect a New COVID-19 Wave?

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The coronavirus pandemic, which receded for several months, is gaining momentum again. Currently, the incidence is growing rapidly in 110 countries around the world, including Moldova
After the sharp rise in March to 12.7 million new cases per week, the following months were pleasing in terms of a weekly decrease in the rate of spread, in our country as well. The Moldovan media even mentioned the only two hospitalized infected persons in Chisinau. “The cumulative vaccination rate in Chisinau is 70%. This is exactly the rate recommended by OSM for collective immunity. This is the highest vaccination rate in the country. At this stage, we have overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Boris Gilca, head of the General Directorate of Medical and Social Assistance at the time. However, experts warned about the possibility of a return of the pandemic. In particular, Melita Vujnovic, WHO representative in Russia, spoke about the increase in the incidence of coronavirus infection: “Given that a large number of people have not encountered the virus either vaccinally or naturally, we can expect a certain rise in the incidence of the disease”. Pfizer CEO Albert Burla also spoke about regular waves of the coronavirus awaiting humanity at the World Economic Forum in Davos. According to him, politicians want to declare victory over COVID, and people are tired of protective measures and do not want to be revaccinated, this is why new waves of different coronavirus variants can appear constantly. He is concerned about the complacency of people who are willing to “lower the bar” and “accept a little more death among the older generation” instead of wearing masks. In late May, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus drew attention to the fact that the pandemic was probably not over, and governments were “reducing protective measures at their own risk”. Despite the worldwide decline in infection rates, the incidence was increasing in 70 countries at the time. According to Ghebreyesus, the pandemic “won’t end anywhere until it ends everywhere”. At the same time, a record drop in mortality was recorded in early June when for the first time since the spring of 2020, less than 10,000 people died of coronavirus in a week. Experts say the total number of registered deaths decreased by almost 90% compared to the peak rates at the beginning of the year. About 40,800 people died in the first month of summer, about a third fewer than in May. At the same time, there are concerns that this drop may be due to less careful maintenance of coronavirus statistics, and the real figures are higher than the official ones. For the first time in recent months, the incidence of coronavirus began to rise again in June. There has been a sharp increase in incidence in Latin America, Western Europe and Asia. Serious outbreaks of COVID-19 were registered in Brazil: at the beginning of June there were 40 thousand infected a day and by the end of it – over 75 thousand. In Mexico in June the rate of infection increased almost eightfold. Now about 25,000 new cases per day are registered there. The first place in the incidence of disease for several weeks was the US (more than 600 thousand new cases per week), but now France and Italy overtook, where in the last week there were 890 and 633 thousand new cases, respectively. The incidence rate is similar in Germany. The number of people infected in the UK, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands is rising. In Asia situation is the worst in North Korea, where the first cases of infection with coronavirus were identified in early May, but it is impossible to calculate the exact number of people infected there. The situation in Moldova is also getting worse. According to the Health Ministry, the weekly increase in cases of coronavirus at the end of June was about 85%. According to Ala Nemerenсo, a new wave of pandemic is expected, which has already shown alarming figures in Europe and is gradually approaching Moldova. Indicators of the spread of the disease so far comply with the current “code green”, and the authorities do not see reasons for bringing back the restrictions. At the same time, experts are highly concerned about the surge in coronavirus cases among children. The number of children hospitalized with coronavirus doubled last week. “In the last two weeks, we have seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases. To date, half of the patients have coronavirus. Of the 116 children hospitalized, 57 have COVID-19,” said Viorica Hemei, pediatrician at Children’s Infectious Diseases Hospital. Moreover, most of these children were infants. In all cases, their mothers were not vaccinated against the coronavirus. The number of infected pregnant women has also increased. Over the past week, 4 deaths from complications caused by coronavirus infection have been registered. There are 16 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in extremely serious condition at the Institute of Emergency Medicine, three of whom are on ALV. Experts remind that vaccination remains the best way to prevent mass infection, but despite appeals by the authorities, there are no more than 20 people per day who want to take the vaccine. A new wave of the coronavirus could be the next test of strength for a government that is already in the midst of several severe crises – socio-economic, energy and domestic political. Another pandemic outbreak against this backdrop would not be at all convenient – after all, not only would it be necessary to administer it, expending additional resources, but also to face the dilemma of resuming unpopular measures among the population. For the record: A total of 558.8 million people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus, of whom 6.37 million have died.