The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the Covid-19 cases decline in Europe should not be taken lightly and the countries are still highly vulnerable to the risk of infection. Hans Kluge, Director for WHO Europe said in a press conference that this reduction in cases doesn’t truly represent the cases caused by mutated variants and community spread.
Every week, nearly a million new Covid-19 cases are registered from all 53 members of WHO Europe. But after all of them started to report fewer cases lately, it appeared that the pandemic is finally reaching an end.
According to Kluge, Covid-19 in Europe is still not over and all countries are still vulnerable. There is only a fine line between a wrong sense of protection and the hope to get a vaccine and it should never be forgotten.
Europe has received nearly 41 million Covid-19 vaccines which are considerably higher than the cases reported during the early days of the pandemic. Out of 37 countries, at least 29 have started their vaccination programs and more than 7.8 million people have received both first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. But these numbers only represent 1.5% of the total population.
Vaccines are indeed effective to control the cases but their amount is not enough to meet the demand and get control over this pandemic. Kluge says any rash decisions or policy changes for these countries could remerge the cases and the pandemic will never get over.
He also urged countries to learn from their mistakes of opening the public places too fast and losing all the hard-earned gains on controlling the cases after new year celebrations.
While the new variants are here, which are potentially more deadly and transmissible than the original coronavirus, this situation requires special handling instead of randomly taking decisions for the public. Despite the approval of vaccines, their availability still remains a high concern, plus the response of vaccines against the mutated strains is still under research. If there are more mutations, there are chances that the vaccine may not help.
Unless there is a way to control the transmission rate, expecting the vaccination programs to control the situation and end this pandemic is not wise. The regional director urged for an equitable circulation of these Covid-19 vaccines to make sure that even poor countries have access to them. It is not just a moral perspective but also a way to lower the risks.
This unfair distribution and access to the vaccine may sometimes backfire which will make the situation even worse. nearly 38 European countries have confirmed the British variant in their residents and 19 countries have confirmed the presence of the South African variant.