Susan Waresi:- New data released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Thursday makes it clear that the pandemic is still dangerous. Adherence to control measures will be crucial to prevent hospitals from being overloaded with patients.
In two weeks, the number of coronavirus patients has become twice in Britain and Belgium. The largest stadium in Poland is now an emergency hospital with a capacity for 500 patients. Health-workers in the Czech Republic is falling ill at an alarming rate.
Although some suggested that the virus is now less deadly, its second wave is nowhere. The number of COVID patients in Europe is now rising gradually though it is half of the peak in March-April. Countries across Europe including France, Italy, Spain and Poland are more likely to see new cases than the United States.
Bruno Ciancio, the head of disease surveillance at the center, said he was concerned that some of the worst-hit countries now – including the Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria – were not as affected this spring, and may have not expanded their hospital capacity or intensive care units.
“The signals were all there in September,” asserts Mr. Ciancio. “At this point, it’s very important that all member states prepare their hospitals to deal with the increase in demand that is coming,” he adds.
About 40 percent of the intensive care beds in Madrid are occupied by Covid patients. Hospitals in Paris are postponing non-emergency surgeries.
Nevertheless, there is hope that the world will not witness again the level of death that Bergamo, Italy, New York City and Madrid suffered this spring. Now treatments have improved and the mechanism of spread of the virus is clearer. Countries are detecting outbreaks beforehand and increasing test rates.
However, the success of those control measures is still not guaranteed. Travellers moved around Europe, students returned to campus, large gatherings continued and the virus kept spreading.
The number of deaths has slowly risen over the last several weeks. Experts opine that an additional increase in deaths might be seen in the next couple of weeks.
Source: The New York Times