Small victories and relapses of European countries in the second wave of the pandemic

The battle against the pandemic continues in Spain. The country maintains strong restrictions, night curfews, and limitations on interregional mobility. And without having contemplated a second national closure, the measures imposed so far seem to have an effect: the transmission of the virus had decreased for the eleventh consecutive day and the cumulative incidence stood at 419 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Ministry of Health.

Madrid becomes the autonomous community with the lowest cumulative incidence in Spain, standing at 285.52 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.

With the intention of improving these figures, Madrid will close the perimeter of the region for ten days, from Friday 4 to Monday 14 December, which includes the bank holiday of the Constitution on the first weekend of the month.

Other autonomous communities have announced or are preparing to close the perimeter of their territory until after the Constitution bridge. For now, Catalonia and Navarra are the regions that have placed the closure of their territory closer to Christmas: until the 18th in Navarra and the 21st of December in Catalonia. Although this last Autonomous Community will reopen the bars and restaurants from this Monday.

The vaccination operation will begin in January

Vaccination against covid-19 in Spain will begin in January 2021 and will not be mandatory, according to the Spanish Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, on Saturday about the plan that the Executive of the socialist Pedro Sánchez will announce next week.

The European Union (EU) has already signed contracts with the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Janssen and BioNTech / Pfizer for one billion expandable doses; Signing with CureVac is imminent and negotiations with Moderna for another 400 million additional vaccines are well advanced.

The objective of this plan is that by mid-2021 some 30 million citizens have been vaccinated, “70% of the population in round numbers”, which would allow a good part of the citizenship to be immunized, Illa said yesterday in a radio interview .

According to official figures, the total number of infections since the start of the pandemic in Spain now amounts to 1,556,730 and 42,619 deaths.

France surpasses the peak of the second wave

France reported this Saturday a new decrease in the main parameters of the coronavirus pandemic, especially with lower numbers of infections, deaths and patients in intensive care.

The country, which has been in lockdown since October 30, registered 17,881 new confirmed cases on Saturday, 5,001 fewer than on Friday (22,882), bringing the total to 2.127 million. There were also 276 deaths (from the 386 in the previous daily report), so the deaths caused by the pandemic in France amount to 48,518.

There are 4,493 patients in intensive care, with a slight decrease from 4,566, although it already represents the fifth consecutive day of reduction. The positivity rate also continues to drop so far.

The national health agency (SPF) said yesterday that it considered that France had already passed the peak of this second wave of the pandemic.

French President Emmanuel Macron plans to address the country next Tuesday to explain to the population the modalities in which the current confinement that the country is experiencing will be eased as of December 1.

Greek hospitals in danger of saturation

Greece began its third week of national confinement today with the uncertainty of whether it will end on the 30th, as announced at the beginning, after registering the worst data on deaths from covid in a single day, which exceeded one hundred for the first time (108 ).

According to the latest data, the Hellenic country also surpassed its record for the number of patients connected to a respirator, with 522.

This figure, which does not stop increasing day after day, is a sign of the pressure to which the Public Health is subjected, which is trying not to collapse while trying to control the second wave with great difficulties, especially in northern Greece .

Of the 2,311 latest new infections registered by the National Public Health Organization (EODY), 606 were concentrated in northern Thessaloniki, the second largest city in the country, where intensive care units can no longer accept more patients.

Although the government plan is to return to normality little by little and in phases, leaving the opening of the restoration until the end, many experts in the country indicate that it is still early to leave the confinement.

Three days of national mourning in Serbia

COVID-19 cases in Serbia have skyrocketed in the last month. The country recorded more than 6,200 new infections on Friday. That’s 18 times higher than what it was a month ago. Among the fatalities is Patriarch Irineo I, the top spiritual leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who has led the Government to announce three days of national mourning.

Despite the deterioration of the pandemic in the country, the authorities assured in an interview with Euronews that a national confinement is not contemplated for Serbia.

“We are not thinking about that, in a closure at this time, but we will act according to the progress of the situation in the coming days,” said Darija Kisic Tepavcevic, Minister of Social Welfare.

Denmark slaughters more than 15 million minks infected with coronavirus

In Copenhagen, some 500 poster-adorned tractors protested the government’s decision to euthanize more than 15 million minks to stop the spread of a variant of the coronavirus.

Following the advice of health authorities by detecting mutations that had passed into humans and weakened the ability to create antibodies, the Social Democratic Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, effectively put an end to a successful industry.

“We have been forced to make this decision and the conclusion is non-negotiable. That is our belief,” said Frederiksen.

Mink farming in Denmark dates back some 90 years and in recent decades had placed this Nordic country at the head of the world in a criticized sector (several countries prohibit this practice for ethical reasons), a buoyant business that represented the 4 % of national agricultural exports and employed about 6,000 people, counting associated industries.

Denmark, which has a population of about 5.7 million, has so far registered 68,894 coronavirus cases and 781 deaths, with a death rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.