European countries expand boosters and tighten containment measures in the face of COVID surge | Coronavirus pandemic news

As the European continent responds to the surge in coronavirus cases and concerns about its economic impact, European countries have expanded the scope of COVID-19 intensified vaccination, launched a plan to vaccinate young children, and tightened some restrictions.

Slovakia entered a two-week lockdown, the Czech government declared a 30-day state of emergency, including early closure of bars and clubs and a ban on Christmas markets, and Germany exceeded the threshold of 100,000 COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday.

Europe is in Heart In the latest wave of COVID-19, approximately one million new infections are reported every two days, and now account for nearly two-thirds of new infections worldwide.

The European Commission proposed on Thursday that if EU residents want to travel to another country in the EU next summer without testing or quarantine, they need to undergo a booster injection.

In France, the authorities announced that booster injections will be provided to everyone over 18 years old, not just people over 65 years old and with underlying health problems.

Many countries are introducing or increasing the use of booster injections, although the World Health Organization hopes that the world’s most vulnerable people will be fully vaccinated first.

The head of the African Disease Control Agency said on Thursday that in Africa, only 6.6% of the 1.2 billion people have been fully vaccinated. As the delivery of vaccines finally picks up, many countries are working hard to speed up the logistics of the vaccination campaign.

The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) on Wednesday recommended that all adults be vaccinated, with priority given to those over 40 years of age.

According to data from the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of new cases per day in Germany reached a record of 75,961 on Thursday, and the total death toll reached 100,119.

Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane reported in Berlin that German authorities are struggling to deal with the surge in cases, and some hospitals are forced to send patients to other European countries.

“In Germany…many hospitals are crowded with people who have not been vaccinated and are infected with the Coronavirus Delta variant. As far as we know, this virus is much more contagious,” Kane said.

“As the hospital is overcrowded, they can’t find enough space, so they ask the European allies to accept some of their patients,” he added.

Shooting for teenagers

In some countries, there is an increasing push to vaccinate young children.

The European Union’s drug regulatory agency approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccines for use in lower doses in children between 5 and 11 years old. Previously, the vaccine was authorized for use in children as young as 12 years old in May. The European Commission will issue the final decision, which is expected to be announced on Friday.

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are preparing to vaccinate young children after approval by the European Medicines Agency, although the delivery of the lower dose will not be delivered until December 20.

In France, the number of infections doubles every 11 days, and Health Minister Olivier Veran (Olivier Veran) said he will ask health regulators to check whether children between 5 and 11 years old should be vaccinated.

The World Health Organization Regional Office stated in a study conducted with the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday that since the vaccine was introduced, nearly 500,000 people in Europe have been vaccinated and saved the lives of people 60 and older. .

Stricter restrictions

Many European countries are tightening restrictions.

The state of emergency declared in the Czech Republic allows the government to order restrictions on public life. Authorities there ordered bars and clubs to close at 10pm (21:00 GMT), banned Christmas markets, and restricted attendance at cultural and sporting events to 1,000 people.

Slovakia began a two-week blockade on Thursday, followed by neighboring Austria on Monday. Slovakia is one of the countries with the lowest vaccination rate in the European Union. It reports critical hospital conditions and tops the world with new infections.

The authorities ordered the closure of all stores and services except basic stores and services, and prohibited people from going to areas outside of their area while working, going to school, or seeking medical treatment. Gatherings of more than six people are prohibited.

The French authorities stated that they will tighten the rules for wearing masks and strengthen inspections of health passes to enter public places. But officials said there is no need to emulate European countries that have re-imposed blockades.

In Germany, Annalena Baerbock, the co-leader of the Green Party, stated that the new government composed of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Green Party and the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) has set a 10-day period to decide whether Need to be further restricted.

Most areas of Germany have already issued regulations restricting people who have been vaccinated or recovered from entering indoor activities.

In the Netherlands, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients reached the highest level since the beginning of May, and experts warned that if the virus is not controlled, the hospital will be fully operational in a little more than a week.

The Dutch government said it will take strong measures to curb the infection. National broadcaster NOS reported on Thursday that as part of a new package of lockdown measures, the government-led epidemic management team has recommended that restaurants, bars and non-essential shops be closed before 5 pm.

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