Germany, new squeeze on no vax: ban on entry to retail stores. EU Center for Diseases: ‘Omicron risk from high to very high’

Germany, new squeeze on no vax: ban on entry to retail stores. EU Center for Diseases: ‘Omicron risk from high to very high’
Germany, new squeeze on no vax: ban on entry to retail stores. EU Center for Diseases: ‘Omicron risk from high to very high’

In the coming months the new variante Omicron of the coronavirus will represent at least half of all infections in Europe. To say it is the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc), according to which, based on preliminary data collected by South Africa and presented in its new report, the new mutation “could have a substantial growth advantage over the Delta“. So the countries run for cover and the first to move is there Germany, with the outgoing Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who announced what is in fact a lockdown for the unvaccinated. The government of Berlin in fact it intends to extend the 2G model (green pass recognized only to those who are immunized or cured of Covid, with the exclusion of those with a simple negative swab) to Retail on a federal basis. This is one of the decisions contained in the package launched by the last State-Regions conference.

While South African experts, the country from which the new variant of the coronavirus originated, argue that there is no evidence of a increased resistance to vaccines by Omicron, the ECDC believes that “the presence of multiple mutations in the Spike protein of the Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 indicates a high probability of reduction of neutralizing activity by antibodies induced by “previous” infection or vaccination. This means that a drop in immunity of vaccinated and cured, but it is not clear how much: “Preliminary data – the experts explain – suggest that Omicron could be associated with an increased risk of reinfection in South Africa. However, in the absence of in vitro neutralization data, vaccine efficacy data, and further data on reinfection in populations exposed to different variants of Sars-CoV-2 during previous waves, the extent to which Omicron evades or erodes derived immunity. vaccine or previous infection remains uncertain “.

For all these factors, the EU Center argues that the risk associated with the further introduction and diffusion of the variant in the EU “Is rated from high to very high”: “The evidence of initial cases of this new variant that has been gathered from around the world is limited – it reads – but suggests that Omicron may be associated with a higher transmissibility compared to Delta, although solid evidence is still lacking. There remains considerable uncertainty regarding theefficacy of the vaccine, al risk of reinfection and other properties of Omicron ”. The “current estimates of the severity of the infection associated with Omicron remain” highly uncertain “(which in an initial phase were judged by experts from different countries as milder, ed)”.

The worsening of the situation throughout the European continent has therefore further increased the ‘red’ areas, those at greatest risk, on the ECDC map. Only Italy and Spain have yellow areas, therefore still not at high risk of contagion. As for Italy, Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria, Puglia, Basilicata, Sicily and Sardinia are yellow. In Spain only one region retains the yellow color: Extremadura. The maximum incidence of infections is concentrated in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Ireland, Greece and Eastern Europe.

African experts, however, continue to send reassurances. According to John Nkengasong, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa (Africa CDC), “there is no need to panic. We are not defenseless. We are not worried that the situation cannot be managed ”. The CDC Africa specified that it had been preparing “for a long time” for the possibility of a new variant and is ready to contain the increase in cases. “This will be the fourth wave that we will face as a continent – explained Nkengasong – We know how to implement rapid interventions, we know how to provide what is needed”, he clarified, also saying that vaccines in Africa “are circulating with the utmost constancy”. However, the continent’s immunization rate remains low, with only 7% of people fully vaccinated out of around 1.3 billion.

The data, however, are not so comforting. In the week preceding November 30, infections from Covid more than tripled in South Africa, recording an increase of 311%, according to numbers released by the World Health Organization. Given that, together with the increase in cases also in other countries of southern and central Africa, it has contributed to a net increase also at the continental level: in the last week, in Africa there was a 54% increase in new positives, with Omicron becoming the dominant Covid variant in South Africa, as explained by Professor Anne von Gottberg, of the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases. At the moment only a limited number of tests have been carried out to verify the presence of the new mutation, however of all those sequenced Omicron represents 75%.

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