Covid-19 infection rates are falling across Europe and vaccinations are rising, but new mutations in the virus still pose serious risks to Ireland’s exit from the pandemic.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in its most recent risk assessment that coronavirus variants that emerged in Britain, South Africa and Brazil pose a high risk and will cause more Covid infections. -19, hospitalizations and deaths.
The B117 variant first detected in the south of England accounts for almost 90% of cases in Ireland and is increasingly dominant elsewhere, accounting for approximately 45% of cases in Portugal, 30% in the Netherlands and 27 % a Denmark.
Ireland, which in early January had the worst coronavirus infection rate in the world, is now below the European average for new cases.
The latest ECDC figures show that Ireland has reported 263 cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days.
As things stand, the Czech Republic has the highest infection rate in Europe.
The country, at 10.7 million, reported 968 new cases per 100,000 people every two weeks.
Czech Health Minister Jan Blatny said on Friday that the situation at Covid-19 had “significantly worsened” as it set aside plans to open all retail stores from next week.
The Czech government said earlier this week that it could ask neighboring Germany to take in Covid patients if the situation worsens further.
Overflowing Czech hospitals are looking for patient transfers …
Estonia is the next highest rate on the continent, with 649 cases per 100,000.
The countries with the lowest infection rates are Iceland (7) and Norway (65). The European average is 306 cases per 100,000.
The ECDC continues to discourage all but essential travel and urges European governments to accelerate the pace of Covid-19 vaccines for high-risk groups such as the elderly and health workers.
It is also said that a combination of physical distancing, increased surveillance, sample sequencing, rigorous contact tracking and quarantine is also needed to effectively curb the spread of new variants. – Additional reports: Reuters