Slovakia: Two week Covid lockdown introduced

Slovakia will be put in lockdown for two weeks from Thursday, November 25th 2021. The government decided on this at Wednesday’s meeting. Prime Minister Eduard Heger said that from midnight today, a state of emergency would apply in Slovakia for a maximum of 90 days.

“It is important to realize that if we want to beat the crown, it is about every single citizen. Covid is spreading among the people, so compliance is a key to success. We need to be locked up as a society. The situation is serious, we got into it because the measures were not followed,” said Heger.

Pravda.sk report (in Slovakian)

 

Slovakia’s infection rate, by population size, is far outstripping that of the rest of Europe

Slovakian President: “We are losing the fight against the pandemic, we need a lockdown”

 

 

 

 

Image by Leonhard Niederwimmer from Pixabay

Slovakian President: “We are losing the fight against the pandemic, we need a lockdown”

“We are losing the fight against the pandemic, we need a lockdown”, said President Zuzana Čaputová on Tuesday after visiting the hospital in Ružinov in Bratislava. According to her, it should affect everyone.

She pointed to the number of hospitalized, victimized, but also exhausted paramedics. She was quite angrily called for stopping the spread of “covid delusions” or “covid silencing.” According to her, people must start listening to experts.

She also added that in the fight against COVID-19 we are the worst in the world in terms of newly infected people per million inhabitants. She said in a statement that she did not know what more people needed to hear and see in order to change attitudes. Although the lockdown will be unfair to responsible and vaccinated people, they see no other solution.

“What I saw today at Ružinov Hospital was tragic and terrible. How is it possible that paramedics who save people face threats. Sometimes I feel that I do not know this country, said Čaputová.

Pravda.sk report (in Slovak)

 

 

 

 

Image by Peter Tóth from Pixabay

Slovakia Health Minister calls for three week full lockdown

The Slovakian Minister of Health, Vladimír Lengvarský, is calling for a three-week Covid lockdown for everyone. If it is introduced as soon as possible, Slovakians can have a Christmas without strict measures. However, Lengvarský added that this will be the first round of lockdown. If it doesn’t work, it will then continue.

He added that there were reports from the regions that the vaccinated themselves were asking for a lockdown in order to improve the situation as soon as possible.

Pravda.sk report

 

 

 

 

Image by 833211 from Pixabay

Europe: all-time Covid infection record broken by growing winter superwave

Europe has broken through its all-time high for Covid cases, and is seeing sharp increases in infections right across the continent. The Covid superwave that started in Eastern Europe just one month ago has now spread to all corners of the continent, and doesn’t look like it’s about to break anytime soon.

Virtually every part of Europe is now seeing increases in infections as the winter superwave rolls in.

 

Virtually every government in Europe has pinned its hopes on Covid vaccines preventing further large waves of the disease, a tactic that we have repeatedly warned wouldn’t work. It has been obvious for months that vaccine waning and vaccine breakthroughs would make vaccines a poor first line of defence.

Europe needs to regroup, rethink, and redraw its lines of defence quickly. Greater defence in depth is needed by using mitigations that are proven to work. 

Our estimation of the winter wave of 2020 shown in the diagram below suggests that a wave peak of around 13 – 15 million biweekly cases might have been reached had it not been for the mitigations imposed in Europe and North America in early November 2020.

The 2020 winter wave was broken in half by strong mitigations. It may already be too late to reintroduce them this to year to prevent the worst of the damage from the wave impact.

 

What was the lesson we all learned from earlier waves? Go in hard, go in strong? 

With the half-hearted mitigations that Europe has put in place for the winter wave, it looks as though we are about to find out just how bad things can really get with Covid.

 

Updatable chart for Europe below – press your refresh button to update:

 

Prediction: European Covid winter wave of 2021 will be the worst wave of the pandemic so far

Europe: explosive Covid growth rates, steeper than the winter wave of 2020 in many countries

Europe is seeing some stunning increases in the daily Covid case rate across much of the continent. In many cases, the rates of increase are steeper even than the winter wave of 2020. This is a very dangerous situation.

Germany:

Belgium:

Netherlands:

Austria:

Hungary:

Poland:

Greece:

Slovakia:

 

9th November 2021 – Update from Germany:

The virologist Christian Drosten has warned of an escalation of the corona situation. If no tougher measures were to be taken now, in view of the experience in England with a similarly high vaccination rate, but significantly more natural infections and deaths, also face Germany would up to 100,000 more deaths, Drosten said in his podcast on NDR Info. “That’s a conservative estimate.”

Drosten spoke out in favour of considering new contact restrictions. You have to control the infection activity again. Testing alone will not bring the situation under control. “The tests are set up as an emergency brake to break the wave. But in any case they will not be”.

The waves to date have shown that a change in behaviour in the general population contributes to a decrease in the incidence. “If people change their behaviour and take the threat more seriously, it has an effect.” That is why clear communication is essential. “We have a real emergency situation,” said Drosten.

In Drosten’s view, the situation is worse than it was a year ago. The delta variant also quickly turns vaccinated people into carriers. At the same time, these people moved relatively freely in society. “This is how the virus comes to the unvaccinated, and they stand out as serious cases.”

Der Spiegel report (in German)

 

 

Prediction: European Covid winter wave of 2021 will be the worst wave of the pandemic so far

 

 

 

Prediction: European Covid winter wave of 2021 will be the worst wave of the pandemic so far

This isn’t the most difficult prediction we have ever had to make, but there is no doubt that, despite huge vaccination campaigns across the continent, the winter wave now breaking over Europe will be their worst wave of the pandemic so far.

The difference this year is that, despite raging infections in many European countries, despite vaccine waning, vaccine breakthroughs and reinfections, no government is yet considering measures that are strong enough to contain the tide.

Measures including lockdowns and working from home were imposed in many countries across Europe and North America in early November 2020 to prevent the winter wave worsening. Despite their huge unpopularity, the measures, particularly lockdowns, DID work.

The chart below shows our estimation of what the winter wave would have looked like in 2020 without lockdowns. The global winter wave of 2020 was broken in half by lockdowns in key European countries and in North America which made up the bulk of cases.

Our estimation of the size of the Covid global winter wave in 2020. The winter wave was smashed by lockdowns in Europe and North America:

In 2021, however, many countries in Europe have abandoned the use face masks, social distancing and working from home. Lockdowns have been also been ruled out by many governments, fearful of their unpopularity.

 

The chart below shows what the European Covid winter wave looks like on the 4th November 2021. The wave that is forming is virtually identical to the wave of 2020. The difference in 2021 is that there are no mitigations in reserve to prevent previous wave records being broken.  Without urgent mitigations, this wave could be bigger than the one that engulfed India in the spring of 2021

Europe needs to take its head out of the sand, and do it quickly. There are very few tools left in the toolbox to deal with large waves, and every one of them will be needed this year.

We are still waiting for more data to come in to be able to make a prediction on the size of the global winter wave, but it’s not impossible that Europe alone could carry almost the entire burden of the winter wave this year.

Just to be crystal clear then:

  • Vaccines won’t be enough to stop the wave
  • Antivirals won’t be enough to stop the wave
  • Vaccine passports won’t be enough to stop the wave
  • Face masks won’t be enough to stop the wave
  • Locking up the unvaccinated won’t be enough to stop the wave

 

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

 

Decoding Sars-Cov-2: How are global Covid waves formed, and can we predict future waves?

 

Image by Brigitte makes custom works from your photos, thanks a lot from Pixabay

WHO: 500,000 deaths from Covid in Europe this winter

“The current pace of transmission across the 53 countries of the European Region is of grave concern,” said regional WHO head Hans Kluge.

Kluge warned earlier that if Europe followed its current trajectory, there could be 500,000 COVID-related deaths in the region by February.

“We must change our tactics, from reacting to surges of COVID-19, to preventing them from happening in the first place,” he said.

Reuters.com report

 

Covid has surged across large parts of Europe again as a winter wave rolls across the continent:

 

 

Photo by Rianne Gerrits on Unsplash

Slovakia: Covid lockdown announced for areas hardest hit by virus

Slovakia on Monday reimposed coronavirus restrictions in the hardest-hit parts of the country amid the latest surge of infections.

Five counties all located in northern Slovakia are affected by the measures, which include the closures of restaurants with people only allowed to buy meals at takeout windows.

Fitness and wellness centers also have been closed. The number of people allowed to attend public gatherings is reduced to 100 fully vaccinated people. It’s also mandatory to wear face coverings both outdoors and indoors.

Yahoo News report

 

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

 

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

Slovakia: The Sputnik V #coronavirus vaccine batches used in the preclinical tests and clinical studies published in the Lancet do not have the same characteristics and properties as the vaccine batches imported into Slovakia

The vaccine batches used in the preclinical tests and clinical studies published in the Lancet do not have the same characteristics and properties as the vaccine batches imported into Slovakia. According to published reports, Sputnik V should be used in about 40 countries around the world, but these vaccines are only associated with the name. The comparability and consistency of different batches produced at different locations has not been demonstrated. In several cases, they appear to be vaccines with different properties (lyophilisate versus solution, single-dose ampoules versus multi-dose vials, different storage conditions, composition and method of manufacture).

The assessment of quality, efficacy and safety is always performed separately for a specific vaccine in a specific pharmaceutical form and composition. Therefore, information on the use of Sputnik V in other countries cannot be applied to batches of vaccine imported into Slovakia.

Spravy.pravda.sk report

 

Image by Lubos Houska 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

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

B.1.258∆, a #SARSCoV2 variant with ∆H69/∆V70 in the Spike protein circulating in the #Czech Republic and #Slovakia

We analyzed SARS-CoV-2 samples collected from various regions of Slovakia between November and December 2020 that were presumed to contain the B.1.1.7 variant due to traveling history of the virus carriers or their contacts. Sequencing of these isolates revealed that although in some cases the samples were indeed confirmed as B.1.1.7, a substantial fraction of isolates contained another ∆H69/∆V70 carrying mutant belonging to the lineage B.1.258, which has been circulating in Central Europe since August 2020, long before the import of B.1.1.7. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the early sublineage of B.1.258 acquired the N439K substitution in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the Spike protein and, later on, also the deletion ∆H69/∆V70 in the Spike N-terminal domain (NTD). This variant is particularly common in several European countries including Czech Republic and Slovakia, and we propose to name it B.1.258∆.

 

 Image by LionFive from Pixabay