Europe, between confinement and vaccination

The Republic of Ireland came out of six-week lockdown a month ago with the lowest coronavirus infection rate in the EU, but things have changed since then. Since mid-December, the virus has spread across the country again. And the Christmas holidays, the opening of restaurants and pubs, together with the new variant of the virus that is much more transmissible, have contributed to the increase in cases.

A worrying situation as the figures show that Ireland is the country that has the highest number of new cases of COVID-19 per million inhabitants in the world. Hospitalizations follow the same upward trajectory.

Which means more restrictions, pronounced by the Irish Prime Minister, Micheál Martin, when the Irish Association of Hospital Consultants has described the pressure on hospitals as “a real national emergency”.

Meanwhile, England announces an increase in the number of vaccination centers throughout the country so that by the end of the month any citizen can have a center no more than 15 km from their home. But with the increase in cases in the UK, the British Health Minister has insisted that everyone scrupulously follow the rules while launching the vaccination campaign.

“While this crucial work is being carried out, each and every one of us must continue to fight this virus by following current sanitary rules. Please let each of us do our bit and help keep the health system strong while we we roll up our sleeves and make this ambitious plan a reality. Please stay home to protect the health system and save lives, “said Matt Hancock, UK Health Minister.

Albania has also started vaccinating, Prime Minister Edi Rama has been among the first to receive the prick. But he has accused the European Union of leaving the Western Balkans behind in its immunization efforts, even though the region is outside the bloc’s borders. Albania has secured its own supply of vaccines.

“We have freed the Albanians from staying in the caboose of the European locomotive,” congratulated Prime Minister Edi Rama.

And Portugal, like many other European countries, seems to be heading towards a new total confinement, due to the increase in infections that increases the pressure on the country’s hospital system.