Europe suddenly ablaze with Covid – it could be the biggest wave yet

We predicted here and here that we would see a fresh Covid wave after October 19th, but even we didn’t expect Europe to ignite into a raging inferno within a couple of days. It is beginning to look like Europe may be the epicentre of the biggest global Covid wave yet this coming winter. 

So much for an ‘endemic’ phase of Covid – large parts of Europe are seeing sudden huge increases in infections:

 

Morocco today banned flights to the UK, Germany and the Netherlands in response to the growing infection numbers.

What will happen with North America? It’s just coming out of a fairly major wave that peaked in September 2021. We should know within two weeks whether it has been spared a full-blown winter wave, but we doubt it. Relaxations in international travel over the summer will almost certainly mean a spillover from Europe to the US and Canada, which is exactly what happened in March 2020.

 

 

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

Three European nations, Russia, Latvia and Romania, have recorded their highest ever Covid case rates since the pandemic began, and at least eight European nations are currently seeing their highest Covid case rates for six months.

It looks like Great Britain may see its highest ever figure for coronavirus cases quite soon, and Europe is looking like it may be the epicentre of the next winter wave.

 

Two European nations, Latvia and Romania, are seeing their highest ever case rates of the entire pandemic:

 

Update 18th October 2021: Russia has just recorded its highest ever figure for Covid infections

 

Eight European nations are seeing their highest case rates for six months. They are Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Armenia, Moldova, and Croatia.

 

The UK looks like it might soon break its all-time high record for Covid cases, set last January 2021, despite 80% of its population being vaccinated.

Update:

UK ZOE app reports the highest UK Covid daily case rate ever recorded

Winter is here.

 

 

 

 

Image by Germans Aļeņins from Pixabay

 

The waxing and waning of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe shows new danger areas emerging

Europe has seen major changes in coronavirus case rates over the last two months. In many areas of Europe covid case rates have dropped sufficiently to allow restrictions to be eased, but there are notable exceptions. The Covid-19 rate in Spain now appears to be as bad, if not worse, than two months ago, and the Netherlands has seen a dramatic increase in numbers recently.

In the case of both Spain and the Netherlands, the rates increased following the decision to unlock their countries too quickly, and in both cases those decisions have had to reversed within weeks.  Greece too appears to be seeing a new wave, and these areas now represent the largest threat to Europe’s strategy to keeping infection rates down.

Data maps courtesy of ECDC

 

Spain: 5th wave of coronavirus storms across the country, curfews set to be reintroduced

 

Netherlands: the reproduction R rate is now 2.17 – the highest since February 2020

Europe: B.1.620 #coronavirus variant – definitely one to watch

“Last month, Gytis Dudas was tracking a concerning new coronavirus variant that had triggered an outbreak of COVID-19 in his native Lithuania and appeared sporadically elsewhere in Europe and in the United States. Exploring an international database of coronavirus genomes, Dudas found a crucial clue: One sample of the new variant came from a person who had recently flown to France from Cameroon. A collaborator, Guy Baele of KU Leuven, soon identified six more sequences from people in Europe who had traveled in Cameroon. But then their quest to pinpoint the variant’s origins hit a wall: Cameroon had uploaded a total of only 48 genomes to the global sequence repository, called GISAID. None included the variant”

Sciencemag.org report

 

B.1.620 is also listed as a Variant of Interest by the ECDC:

 

More on the B.1.620 variant traced back Cameroon by Gytis Dudas in the Pango Designation

 

 

Cameroon: travel-driven emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.620 with multiple VOC-like mutations and deletions in Europe

 

Joint Statement on the WHO-Convened COVID-19 Origins Study signed by 14 countries

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.

The Governments of Australia, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America remain steadfast in our commitment to working with the World Health Organization (WHO), international experts who have a vital mission, and the global community to understand the origins of this pandemic in order to improve our collective global health security and response. Together, we support a transparent and independent analysis and evaluation, free from interference and undue influence, of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, we join in expressing shared concerns regarding the recent WHO-convened study in China, while at the same time reinforcing the importance of working together toward the development and use of a swift, effective, transparent, science-based, and independent process for international evaluations of such outbreaks of unknown origin in the future.

The mission of the WHO is critical to advancing global health and health security, and we fully support its experts and staff and recognize their tireless work to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, including understanding how the pandemic started and spread. With such an important mandate, it is equally essential that we voice our shared concerns that the international expert study on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples. Scientific missions like these should be able to do their work under conditions that produce independent and objective recommendations and findings. We share these concerns not only for the benefit of learning all we can about the origins of this pandemic, but also to lay a pathway to a timely, transparent, evidence-based process for the next phase of this study as well as for the next health crises.

We note the findings and recommendations, including the need for further studies of animals to find the means of introduction into humans, and urge momentum for expert-driven phase 2 studies.  Going forward, there must now be a renewed commitment by WHO and all Member States to access, transparency, and timeliness. In a serious outbreak of an unknown pathogen with pandemic potential, a rapid, independent, expert-led, and unimpeded evaluation of the origins is critical to better prepare our people, our public health institutions, our industries, and our governments to respond successfully to such an outbreak and prevent future pandemics.  It is critical for independent experts to have full access to all pertinent human, animal, and environmental data, research, and personnel involved in the early stages of the outbreak relevant to determining how this pandemic emerged. With all data in hand, the international community may independently assess COVID-19 origins, learn valuable lessons from this pandemic, and prevent future devastating consequences from outbreaks of disease.

We underscore the need for a robust, comprehensive, and expert-led mechanism for expeditiously investigating outbreaks of unknown origin that is conducted with full and open collaboration among all stakeholders and in accordance with the principles of transparency, respect for privacy, and scientific and research integrity. We will work collaboratively and with the WHO to strengthen capacity, improve global health security, and inspire public confidence and trust in the world’s ability to detect, prepare for, and respond to future outbreaks.

Joint Statement on the WHO-Convened COVID-19 Origins Study

Image by Philippe Delavie from Pixabay

EMA: If you have these symptoms after vaccination with AstraZeneca #coronavirus serum seek medical help immediately

“Wheezing, chest or stomach pain, swelling or coldness in an arm or leg, severe headache or worsening or blurred vision after vaccination, persistent bleeding, small multiple bruises, reddish or purplish spots or blisters of blood under the skin” – if you have these symptoms after vaccination against Covid with AstraZeneca serum seek medical help immediately and report that you have recently been vaccinated.

Il Giorno report

 

Image by Usman Yousaf from Pixabay

Lithuania: reports about serious, unexpected, unwanted thromboembolic cases in patients who were given the AstraZeneca #coronavirus vaccine

Lithuania is the latest to suspend use of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine as “a precaution” until the European Medicines Agency gives a final evaluation of its safety, the country’s health minister Arturas Dulkys has said.

“We are taking the decision now, because over the previous few hours we have received three reports about serious, unexpected, unwanted thromboembolic cases in patients who were given the AstraZeneca vaccine in Lithuania”, the head of the country’s medicine authority Gytis Andrulionis said. “We do not have proof whether this is a coincidence or due to the vaccine.”

Guardian report

 

Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski from Pixabay

European Medicines Agency: Carry On Poisoning

EMA: “the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, outweigh the risks of side effects.”

Translation: The end justifies the means.

Full EMA Statement  “EMA’s safety committee continues investigation of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and thromboembolic events – further update”

See related:

Sonia Battaglia in intensive care days after an AstraZeneca vaccination

Professor Annamaria Mantile, 62, died four days after AstraZeneca vaccination

Vincenzo Russo, school janitor from Naples, died four days after AstraZeneca vaccination

Giuseppe Maniscalco, Italian Carabiniere , 54, died two days after AstraZenica vaccination

Giuseppe Morabito, Bologna professor, died 10 days after having AstraZeneca vaccination

Sandro Tognatti, Italian professor and musician, died after AstraZeneca vaccination

Davide Villa, Italian policeman died after AstraZeneca vaccination

Stefano Paternò died following AstraZeneca vaccination

Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Bulgaria, Indonesia & Thailand have suspended AstraZeneca vaccinations over blood clot fears.

Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Lithuania have suspended vaccinations with some AstraZeneca batches, notably ABV5811 ABV2856 and ABV5300

Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Indonesia & Thailand suspend Astrazeneca vaccinations

Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Indonesia & Thailand have suspended AstraZeneca vaccinations over blood clot fears.

Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Lithuania have suspended vaccinations with some Astrazeneca batches, notably ABV5811 ABV2856 and ABV5300

ABV5300 was delivered to 17 European countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden – and in total comprises one million doses.

Update: Spain has also suspended use of the vaccine for 15 days as a precaution. This was decided by the inter-territorial council of the Spanish Health.

FT.com report

 

Image by Liz Masoner from Pixabay

EMA: Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions should be included in the list of possible side effects of the Astrazeneca vaccine

European Medicines Agency (EMA), the corona vaccine from the manufacturer Astra-Zeneca can cause severe allergic reactions. Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions should be included in the list of possible side effects of the vaccine citing , the EMA said on Friday, several such cases in the UK.

FAZ.net report

 

Image by torstensimon from Pixabay

AstraZeneca halves #coronavirus vaccine delivery to the EU – export restrictions to blame

The European Commission received the message from AstraZeneca on Thursday afternoon (11 March 2021). According to Sweden’s vaccination coordinator Richard Bergström, it is export restrictions and not production capacity that are behind it.

Astra Zeneca has really made an effort to find volumes to live up to the contract. 75 million doses would come from the United States, the United Kingdom and to some extent from India in the second quarter. Now we have just been told that we will not get rid of these doses, says Richard Bergström to TV4.

The USA and India, where AstraZeneca’s has production, have introduced export bans to ensure that they themselves get enough vaccine. The fact that the vaccine cannot be delivered from the UK has contractual reasons.

Dagens Nyheter report

 

Image by torstensimon from Pixabay

Lithuania culls #coronavirus infected #mink

Lithuania culls #coronavirus infected #mink

Lithuania has begun killing coronavirus-infected mink following Denmark’s mass cull. Its crisis handling has led Danish premier Mette Fredriksen to apologize in tears as cadavers resurfaced at a mass grave.

Lithuania’s veterinary agency said “dozens” had been killed among 60,000 mink at a sole farm infected so far, 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Vilnius, but a mass Baltic cull like Denmark’s was not planned

https://www.dw.com/en/lithuanian-mink-also-corona-infected-tearful-danish-pm-apologizes/a-55743155