COVID’S CHOKEHOLD ON EUROPE IS GETTING TIGHTER BY THE DAY!
LAST week we took a look at how bad the Covid situation has gotten in the UK and that this is despite such a high vaccination rate in the country .
At the moment, the Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson says he thinks the country is still “safer” and hence sees no need to activate Plan B which other stakeholders are demanding.
Plan B simply means reintroducing some restrictions that were just recently lifted. The UK lifted restrictions in the hope that the high vaccination rate was good enough to offer protection and left other responsibilities such as wearing masks to individual decisions.
This seems not to have turned out well as is evident by the current surge in cases and deaths.
Sadly, the UK is not the only European country struggling to breathe at the moment. Most of Europe is once again feeling the tight grip of the deadly Covid-19 chokehold.
Some of the countries have even started imposing restrictions they had just lifted. This must be taken with all the seriousness it deserves as we might just be witnessing the beginning of new waves globally.
ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE…
A lot of European countries are facing spikes in cases and deaths some of which we’ll look at today are Russia, Ukraine and the Netherlands.
It is worrying especially that Europe has not yet even gotten into winter yet. One wonders what the picture will be then but with what is cooking at the moment, the future might be gloomy.
RUSSIA RECORDS OVER 1, 000 DEATHS IN A SINGLE DAY, ALSO DETECTS DELTA MUTANT AND…
Russia recently reported more than 1, 000 daily Covid-related deaths for the first time since the start of the pandemic. An official government tally reported 1, 002 deaths and 33, 208 new infections, setting a pandemic high for both fatalities and cases for the three consecutive days. Deaths from Covid-19 in Russia now stand at 222, 315, the highest toll in Europe.
The government blames the negative behaviour of the public for the surge. Most don’t obey public health measures and majority are not keen to get vaccinated despite Russia having huge stocks of Sputnik V, the Russian made vaccine.
Russian scientists warn the situation might become even worse as they have also detected the new variant, the Delta plus.
They are concerned it has the potential of becoming the new dormant variant globally if deliberate measures are not instituted and implemented to halt its spread. The Kremlin is considering to re impose some restrictions to control the situation.
Russia’s neighbour, Ukraine has not been spared. Recently, Ukraine’s Health ministry said that 22, 415 new coronavirus cases were registered in 24 hours, topping the previous high of 20, 341 cases seen on April 3.
The total number of deaths have been hitting as high as 546 in a day. Overall, some 62, 000 people have died from the illness in Ukraine, which has a population of 41 million.
This is also happening amid poor vaccination rate due to Antivax movements. The government has brought back some restrictions for two weeks, schools will be closed, masks reinforced and vaccine passport required in some places.
Infections in the Netherlands have reached their highest level since the end of July at 25, 751, official data showed, rising for the third consecutive week following the easing of many social distancing measures in the country.
The Dutch government eased most Covid-19 restrictions on Sept.ember 25 following good vaccination rate of over 80 percent of the population.
The current surge has forced several hospitals to cancel regular care, by postponing planned operations or by limiting surgery to the most serious cases, mainly in regions where vaccination rates are low.
“Most of those in hospital with Covid-19 have not been vaccinated,” according to the Dutch Institute for Public Health. “At intensive care units this is the case for four out five patients.”
MEANWHILE IN AFRICA…
Meanwhile in Africa, vaccination is still the least globally and yet life in most countries has gone back to normal.
There is a feeling among the majority of Africans that Covid-19 is over considering the fact that the pandemic seems to be under control and that it has not had as much devastation as is the case in the West.
This sense of safety could work against us if we completely became careless.
We can’t ignore the fact that the continent has had difficult days as well, with South Africa being the worst hit.
Even here in Zambia we can’t ignore the deadly three waves we have had especially the third being the worst. I think most by now know at least a person who knows someone who lost someone to Covid-19.
I was editing this article while at the funeral of a precious lady who passed away last Friday, October 22, 2021. She had other conditions but had just recently been battling with Covid-19 that had even ended her up in ICU.
How much Covid-19 worsened the other condition is something we may never really know, but that Covid did affect the outcome is something we can agree upon.
Rest in peace Ms Jere and condolences to the family. It is not easy to lose a brother, a father and now a mother in a short time.
WE WILL BE SUCH AN INTRIGUING TEXTBOOK FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS
The way the pandemic has been handled leaves much to be desired. By this time, almost two years in the fight, we should have known better what works, learned from some of the mistakes made in the past and avoid repeating them. Unfortunately, we seem to be doing the same thing and yet expecting different results.
When shall we really put an end to this by learning from our own history?
We have seen from what is happening in Europe that we can’t leave it to vaccination alone. A lot of studies are now showing there is waning of vaccine efficacy with time.
This may mean those who were vaccinated about eight to 12 months and over may have little protection by now. That is why in other countries they advocate for booster shots for the elderly and those with compromised immunity.
Sometimes I wonder how the future generation will look back at this time. I am sure one thing that will be perplexing to them is how we always end up with the same results when we know how to avoid them.
Please may we strive to be on the right side of history. We know the golden guidelines of masking up, observing social distancing, hand sanitising have and still do help to prevent infections. Sadly, most people have stopped wearing masks, I think this is clear to everyone.
PLEASE MASK UP
The lifting of restrictions by the government doesn’t mean doing away with public health measures. President Hakainde Hichilema has come to be known for his outstanding hallmark, the “white gloves” and a “mask.”
I think that this is as loud as it can get to remind every Zambian that we all still have a huge responsibility to play in combating and eradicating Covid-19 by getting vaccinated and I repeat and observing the other public health measures.
Please whenever we can, let us try to observe these measure even if the restrictions have been lifted lest again we open a Pandora’s Box like Europe.
ONE ZAMBIA, ONE NATION, UNTIL THEN, ALUTA CONTINUA.