Alarm grows as US COVID deaths in 2021 top 2020

Europe is under the control of a potentially devastating fourth wave of coronavirus and the United States has now Be recorded More COVID-19 deaths are expected in 2021 than in 2020, raising alarm among public health experts who fear another wild winter spike.

Dr. Hans Kluge, World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe, alert Saturday that the coronavirus could kill an additional 500,000 people in Europe by March if political leaders do not take immediate action to stem the current spread and boost vaccine uptake, which is currently under development. lagged behind in areas of the continent due to, in some cases, to combat vaccine sentiment.

“COVID-19 has once again become the number one cause of death in our region,” Kluge told the BBC.

In an effort to quell a massive increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the Austrian government announced Friday that it will conduct a nationwide lockdown and soon make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for the entire adult population. To date, about 65% of the Austrian population is fully vaccinated – one of the lowest rates in Western Europe.

“The virus is back with new severity in Europe and new waves of catastrophe are imminent in Africa and Asia,” speak Shailly Gupta, communications consultant for Reach Doctors Without Borders, points to areas that have been denied adequate supplies of vaccines and treatments. “Rich countries need to understand that unless everyone everywhere gets vaccinated, the situation won’t change.”

“Countries need to stop hoarding tests, drugs and vaccines, and big pharmaceutical companies need to stop hoarding technology if they really want to get this pandemic under control,” she added.

Austria’s mandate, which came into force in February, provoked an immediate backlash. On Saturday, tens of thousands of people – including many straight with the country’s far-right Liberal Party – took to the streets in Vienna to denounce the public health measure, which Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg says is necessary to break the nation’s vaccination plateau and prevent deaths more.

Grandfather speak in a statement on Friday. “This is irresponsible. It’s an attack on our health system. Attacked by anti-vaxxers and fake news, too many of us have not been vaccinated. want to. that. “

Related press report that “protests against virus restrictions also took place in Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands on Saturday, a day after Dutch police opened fire on protesters. love and seven people were injured in the riots that broke out in Rotterdam.”

The AP notes: “Protesters have rallied against coronavirus restrictions and mandatory COVID-19 cards needed in many European countries to enter restaurants, Christmas markets or sporting events, as well as as compulsory vaccination”. “The closure in Austria will begin on Monday and comes as the average number of daily deaths has tripled in recent weeks and hospitals in the hard-hit states have warned that intensive care units are reaching capacity.”

As The Week’s Ryan Cooper noted in a recent column, “There is a clear inverse relationship between stroke and spread” in Europe.

“Countries are suffering real galloping outburst – mainly places in the south and east such as Greece, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia – are usually below 70% fully vaccinated, often quite a bit lower. In contrast, there appears to be a 75-80% quasi-vaccination breaking point where the case growth rate is much slower. It is certainly no coincidence that Portugal and Spain are the most vaccinated countries on the continent, and both have so far largely avoided a major resurgence. “

Meanwhile, in the US, data from the federal government and Johns Hopkins University showed that the official death toll from COVID-19 in 2021 passed 385,457 on Saturday, the highest in 2020. Total people The nation’s death toll is now 770,800 – the highest in the world.

“The spread of Delta variant is very contagious and low vaccination rates in some communities are important factors [this year], “The Wall Street Journal report. “Milestone occurs when COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations move higher again in places like New England and the upper Midwest, with the seven-day average for recent new cases nearing 90,000 a day after nearly 70,000 last month. “

The increase occurred due to fewer public health restrictions maintain taking place across the United States Last week, the Biden administration ban enforcement activities related to vaccination and testing mandates against private businesses after federal appeals court Temporarily stop requirements.

All adults in the United States are now eligible for a booster shot, but public health experts have warned that the widespread availability of a third dose may not do much to stem the rise. current spike in cases for which it mostly refueled by unvaccinated people. Less than 60% of the US population is fully immunized against COVID-19, according to Latest figures from our Data World.

Recently analysis is equal to Financial Times found that more boosters were given in rich countries over a three-month period than in the total number of boosters given in poor countries for the whole of 2021. adjournment order about booster shots in August in an effort to promote vaccination in poor countries, but the US and other rich countries dismiss its needs.

Just 5% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

“There is no evidence that launching multiple boosters will actually have much of an impact on the epidemic,” Discuss Ira Longini Jr., a vaccine expert and professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida.

Tom Philpott of Mother Jones Written Saturday that “in the popular imagination, 2020 gets all the bad press, but this year also has no sunny day at the beach.”

“Certainly, some effective COVID-19 vaccines have emerged, but the Delta variant is highly contagious as well as new, more virulent strains of anti-vax sensations that are closely tied to conservative political ideology. “, Philpott noted. “Worse of all, the hoarding of intellectual property has meant that so far vaccines have largely overtaken low-income countries in the Global South, causing misery for people and opportunities for viruses produce more infectious and/or more virulent strains.” Alarm grows as US COVID deaths in 2021 top 2020

Caroline Bleakley

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