Wednesday

22nd Sep 2021

Europe sees drop in Covid-19 cases

  • As of Wednesday, 58 percent of Europeans are fully-vaccinated (Photo: gob.mx)

Europe has reported a decrease in weekly infections of Covid-19 - after more than a month of increases in cases driven by the more-contagious Delta variant.

The decrease in newly-reported cases has been mainly driven by a decline in cases from Spain and the UK, according to a report of the World Health Organization published on Tuesday (3 August).

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In Spain, where a fifth wave has put at risk the summer holiday season, infections are dropping, after reaching a record high earlier in July.

The 14-day coronavirus infection rate in Spain was 653.81 cases per 100,000 people on Tuesday, compared to 673.52 cases reported the previous day, according to health ministry data. The number of deaths has also dropped.

Nevertheless, Spain is still among the countries with the highest incidence of Covid-19 in the EU.

The country is marked "dark red" by category in the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control map, meaning all but essential travel to and from the region is discouraged.

US officials have warned against any travel to Spain, Greece or Ireland because of rising Covid-19 cases, while some EU countries have also introduced stricter measures for travellers coming from Spain, Cyprus and the Netherlands.

In the UK, meanwhile, daily infections are suddenly dropping. Covid-19 cases have more than halved in just two weeks, dropping from a high of 54,674 cases on 17 July to 22,287 on 2 August.

However, the non-EU country registered on Tuesday another 138 coronavirus-related deaths - the highest daily total since mid-March.

French health officials, for their part, have reintroduced the compulsory wearing of masks in tourist coastal areas, as infections soar. The number of patients in intensive care has raised to 1,331 compared with 978 a week ago, public health figures published Tuesday showed.

An emergency plan on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, a popular summer hotspot, has also been activated in a bid to halt the spread of infections.

As France faces a new surge of Covid-19 cases, president Emmanuel Macron has taken to social media to promote vaccination and tackle disinformation.

The move comes after weeks of protests against the new Covid-19 health pass needed to enter museums, cinemas, swimming pools or public venues.

As of Wednesday, more than 70 percent of Europeans have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 58 percent of the continent's population is fully-vaccinated.

Opinion

Covid-19 pandemic - why was the ECDC so ineffective?

The Covid-19 crisis has revealed that the current European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has neither the funding, the staff or – perhaps most importantly – the authority to lead an effective response to a pandemic in Europe.

Three-quarters of EU citizens support vaccines, survey finds

When asked how the EU handled the vaccination strategy among different institutions, respondents in Malta and Portugal tend to be most satisfied, while in France and Germany respondents are the least satisfied with the EU.

Analysis

The EU's Covid-19 certificate - how it will work?

As some member states start issuing the EU's Covid-19 certificate, EUobserver takes a look at what the bloc is doing to restore unrestricted travel in the bloc - a right that has been restricted, even prohibited, during the pandemic.

Romania selling on its jabs, despite low vaccination rates

Europe's least-vaccinated countries are in no short supply of Covid-19 jabs - and yet Romania and Bulgaria are both looking for opportunities to sell or donate their excess vaccines which they are not able to administer to their own population.

EU medicines agency: booster shots not urgent

The European Medicines Agency said that there is no urgent need to administer booster shots to the general population, pointing out that the priority now should be to vaccinate the one-third of Europeans who are not fully vaccinated.

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