QUICK FACTS: The ‘legs’ after the relaxation of anti-virus measures in Europe

Medical staff assist a patient infected with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Bochum, Germany, December 16, 2021. Photo: VCG

At present, COVID-19 is still raging around the world. The World Health Organization recently underlined that the COVID-19 outbreak is still a “public health emergency of international concern” and has repeatedly urged governments around the world to remain vigilant and be fully prepared. epidemic prevention measures. However, some countries and regions have abolished these epidemic prevention measures and adopted the “coexistence with the virus” model.

At present, the “aftereffects” of this model are gradually appearing. In some countries and regions, including European countries, the number of cases has increased, the death toll has increased, and medical systems are under enormous pressure. To this end, many public health experts around the world have advised that “public health measures should be rebuilt instead of letting the public risk their lives.”

UK

Since the announcement of the start of a “living with COVID” era in February and the removal of a series of virus prevention measures, a growing number of cases is worsening the crisis in health services. In March, COVID-19 infections in the UK had risen to 1 million in a week, according to official statistics. One in nine people (6.4 million) were expecting elective operations such as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery by March – up from 6.18 million similarly stuck in February, according to Daily Mail.

Germany

Governments across Germany reached an agreement in February to gradually relax the country’s virus prevention policies, including an order to ban unvaccinated people from entering public places. However, in mid-March, new cases in a week broke a new record at 2.6 million. Due to the pandemic, 60% of German hospitals have had to postpone scheduled surgeries, while six out of 10 hospitals are experiencing a shortage of nursing staff.

EU

The European Commission said in April that between 60 and 80% of the entire EU population would have been infected with COVID-19.

Eurostat said on April 22 that in the first quarter of this year the GDP of the 19 member states of the eurozone increased by 0.2%, compared to an increase of 0.3% in the previous quarter. However, the French economy stagnated in the first quarter, while Italy’s economic output contracted and Spain’s economic boom lost ground.