Seven countries in the European Union, including Spain, are showing a development of the Covid-19 epidemic that is causing “great concern”, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said on Thursday. France is in another subgroup “with worrying trends”.
Coronavirus returns to several European countries and causes some “great concern”, explains the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In a new reportpublished on Thursday, September 24, the EU agency in Stockholm, Sweden, focuses its concerns on seven EU countries: Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Malta.
This group of countries shows “a higher proportion of serious cases or hospital stays”, with an increase in mortality “already observed” or “which may soon be”, according to the ECDC. And the European authority responsible for monitoring epidemics continues: “In some local / regional areas in these countries, health care is already under pressure with high occupancy of hospital beds and wards. intensive care and high levels (regarding) fatigue of care staff. ”
The unrest in these seven countries stems in particular from the fact that the increase in cases concerns the elderly. “The improvements made in case management, treatment and care are still not enough to prevent serious illness and death in a large proportion of vulnerable patients,” says the ECDC. Therefore, the overall risk of Covid-19 in these countries is considered to be “high for the general public” and “very high for the vulnerable”.
Other European countries “with worrying trends”, according to the European Agency, mainly see increases in Covid-19 cases in younger adults and are therefore less vulnerable. This subgroup includes France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Belgium and Sweden.
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“The effect of the disease is still low, (with) a moderate overall risk of Covid-19 to the public” in these countries, states the ECDC.
But in recent days, the majority of this category seems to be “approaching the classification criteria with great concern”, especially due to new cases in the elderly, the agency emphasizes. According to the ECDC, “It should be noted that with a high transfer volume that continues for several weeks, it becomes difficult to protect vulnerable people. And because the impact in these groups is very high, the risk to this population is still very high. ”
An immunity level “below 15%” in most EU regions
Finally, the remaining countries where the risk is “low” for the general public and “moderate” for those at risk are considered to be in a stable situation: Germany, Italy, Poland, Finland, Greece, Cyprus, Lithuania and excluding the EU, Norway.
The ECDC emphasizes that in the EU “population vulnerability remains high”: “Data from seroprevalence studies indicate that the population’s immunity is below 15% in most regions of the EU and the UK,” the agency explains. And it continues: “As a vaccine will not be available in the short term, the population’s vulnerability to infection is still high. On this basis, the overall probability of infection is very high” in some EU countries.
“Most people can still be infected,” said ECDC Director Andrea Ammon during an online press conference with EU Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. “What we observe in many countries, not just in Spain, is that a large part of the current pollution is due to private meetings, large family dinners or all kinds of meetings with friends or relatives,” she emphasized.
The head of the ECDC, on the other hand, refused to demand a general closure of shops, restaurants or bars. “It depends on whether or not it is possible to provide ‘basic measures’ for physical distance in these places,” she said.