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Thursday, December 7, 2023

We do not get rid of the coronavirus so easily – WHO rings the bell

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We will not get rid of the coronavirus so easily, since the abrupt relaxation of the measures brought a new dramatic increase in cases, since we reached even 5 thousand cases in one day, while on Friday we had the highest positive rate (7%) since it appeared the first case in Cyprus. And the epidemiological team is again concerned about the increased hospitalizations we have in hospitals, since, as they often report, this is the criterion for taking new measures. However, so far no one seems to be willing to suggest a further relaxation of the measures, as requested by OEB, as they consider that there are many cases and the situation is presented as worrying. The epidemiological team met on Monday to review the situation, under Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas. The only sure thing so far is that it will be difficult to make Easter without the masks, while it will probably be difficult to see further relaxation or a return to new measures. “In phases of outbreaks of the pandemic, we do not need to be complacent, but at the same time we do not need to panic,” Dr. Zoe-Dorothea Pana, a member of the Advisory Scientific Committee and a lecturer at the European University, told “P”. According to Ms. Pana, the phases of the pandemic are not comparable, since in this phase we are now in we have more weapons in our hands, while we also have higher percentages of people who have completed their vaccination climate. “We have more knowledge about the virus, we now have the experience and we are monitoring the data in front of us,” he said, adding that the positivity rate should not be the only factor in making decisions at this stage. “Yes, we have to monitor the indicators in the community, but at the same time we see the gap between people who become infected and those who end up in hospitals, and this is a good criterion for monitoring the image of the pandemic.” According to Ms. Pana, hospital indicators are now the criterion that gives valuable information, how many citizens enter with a serious illness and indirectly point to the wall of immunity.

OEB demands relaxation

Despite the alarming rise in cases, the Federation of Employers and Industrialists (OEB) on Thursday sent a letter to the Minister of Health, asking him to completely lift the restrictions, expressing fears of declining revenues from companies and the war, after the invasion of Ukraine many problems in the industry. “The evolution of the pandemic and the number of hospitalizations, despite the increased cases that have occurred recently, prove that it has now diversified to such an extent that its management does not require strict measures. Many Member States of the European Union have already completely lifted the restrictions they have imposed in order to ensure public health and the treatment of Covid-19. The Federation of Employers & amp; Of Industrialists (OEB) reiterates the proposal for the immediate abolition of all restrictive measures that have been imposed in the context of pandemic management and continue to apply today. For the epidemiological team, things do not seem so simple. “We have eased the measures, but we will have to look at the data again to judge the situation.” What is emphasized, however, is that the message that we have got rid of the pandemic should not be passed on, says Ms. Pana, however, she mentions that other psychosocial factors are considered when the measures are relaxed, and that was what the epidemiological team decided. “We need to learn to live with the virus and realize that individual responsibility plays a big role.”

WHO Despite the general picture that we have relaxed and are at the end of the pandemic, the World Health Organization seems to have a different opinion from us and is scolding our country (and all of Europe) for the abrupt easing of measures. Many European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, have taken action against Covid too sharply and are facing a clear increase in cases of the BA.2 sub-variant, the director of the European department of the BA.2 said on Tuesday. WHERE Hans Kluge. During a press conference from Moldova where he was, Hans Kluge said he was “on alert” for the epidemiological situation on the European continent, but added that he remained “optimistic”. The number of Covid cases is currently rising in 18 of the 53 countries in the WHO Europe, according to the agency. “The countries in which we are recording a significant increase are the United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy and Germany,” he said. “These countries have lifted the restrictions abruptly, going beyond the level of & # 8216; excessive & # 8217; at the level of & # 8216; inadequate & # 8217; », said Hans Kluge. Asking Ms. Pana if it's the fault of the tests that we have such a large increase in cases, she says that they never depend on just one factor. “It is a fact that we have chosen a different model and do many tests in Cyprus in relation to other countries, however it is not only our fault that we have so many cases, since seasonality does not help and there is synchronicity, and possibly the lifting of restrictions to coincide with phases of celebration “, says Mrs. Pana.

We were carried away by the war

In an interview with the American network CNBC, Ralph Reidges, professor of Epidemiology at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, emphasizes that, as the war in Ukraine rages, no special attention is paid to the cases of coronavirus recorded in the old or. However, the situation will worsen, as he says, due to the sub-variation of “Omicron” BA.2. An illustrative example, as he said, is his country. Germany records record numbers daily: from 250,000 to 300,000 new cases of coronary heart disease & # 8217; a 24 hour. “We were all hoping for a different turn in the early spring,” Ralph Reidges, a professor of epidemiology at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, told CNBC. “But the situation in Europe is a bit abnormal at the moment, and in Germany; the number of cases is very high, and they have been rising for quite some time now,” he said. The fact that “everyone thinks and expects in some way that the pandemic is over combined with the easing of safeguards gives BA.2 sub-variant” a really good opportunity to spread in an extremely wild way to many parts of Europe “. “It is difficult to predict, but I personally believe that it is very likely that the BA.2 sub-variant will continue its 'tour' around the world,” he added. “This is what viruses usually do in a pandemic.”

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Four priorities

In recent days, more than 5.1 million new cases and 12,496 deaths have been recorded in the WHO zone, bringing the total number of recorded cases since the start of the epidemic to 194.4 million and the death toll to more than 1.92 The fifth wave in Europe is not coming to an end and experts are criticizing the “laxity” of policies across Europe, which are already being blamed for the hasty lifting of restrictive measures during previous epidemic waves. “At the moment I am optimistic, but on the alert,” said Hans Klugge. On the plus side, “there's a lot of immunity (& # 8230;) either because of the vaccine or because of the disease,” he said. Then, “winter is over, so people will be less crowded indoors.” However, Hans Klüge described the appearance of a new variant of the coronavirus as a given, speaking to SKAI. Dr. Kluge stressed that the emergence of a new mutation should not be a concern as long as people continue to do the right thing, with particular reference to the protection of vulnerable groups, but also to the reinstatement of restrictive measures if deemed necessary. The WHO director for Europe also spoke of a calm summer, but not as he said, in the event that countries go from “everything” to “nothing”.

Threats of mutations

“The increased transmissibility of Omicron 2 is already out of competition and is replacing Omicron, and similar waves of infection are likely to occur as other variants appear. As the virus continues to spread and multiply, especially in populations that are under-vaccinated or where the vaccine-induced immunity is weakened, it will create new variants and these will remain a constant threat, even for those countries with high vaccination rates. “Living safely with the coronavirus does not mean ignoring the virus and hoping that it will disappear forever”, stresses the associate professor at the Technical University of Crete, George Atsalakis on the website iefimerida, who in a new research presents data from & # 39; 8217; all over Europe shows that the Omicron variant has surpassed the Delta variant in cases and Omicron 2 is 1.5 times more contagious than the original Omicron strain. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also noted that strain BA.2 differs from BA.1 in its genetic sequence, including some amino acid differences in the spike protein and other proteins that could give it an advantage over the original Ομικρον. Studies are ongoing to understand the reasons for this growth advantage, but initial data suggest that BA.2 appears inherently more contagious than BA.1, which currently remains the most common Omicron subcategory reported. This difference in transmission seems to be much smaller than the difference between BA.1 and Delta.

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Source: politis.com.cy

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