Covid-19: ‘fourth wave’ in Europe is a result of slow vaccination and end of restrictions

São Paulo – The covid-19 pandemic has reached a possible “fourth wave” in Europe. Germany, France, Denmark, Austria and Eastern European countries already show a significant increase in cases and deaths from the disease. A report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), last Wednesday (17), estimates at 5% the increase in deaths associated with covid-19 on the continent, during the last week.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced this Friday (19) that a new lockdown will be opened in the country from Monday (22). The measure will reach the entire population, including those immunized against the coronavirus. Vaccination against the disease will be mandatory from February 1, 2022 .

In an interview with Current Brazil Newspaper, health doctor Gonzalo Vecina Neto, former president of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), attributes this “fourth wave” in Europe to three factors: slow vaccination, anticipation of the flexibility of non-pharmacological measures and the arrival of the variant Delta.

“Vaccination would need to be higher, as it is still insufficient. They also experienced the false sense of the end of the pandemic, and by releasing everything, the virus is back in circulation. The third cause is the arrival of the Delta variant”, he explains, in an interview with Glauco Faria.

fourth wave in europe

WHO already recognizes that Europe is the current epicenter of the pandemic. In addition to the abandonment of protective measures, such as social distancing, the deniers weigh heavily. Even with a wide offer of vaccines, Germany, for example, has only 68.8% of the population fully vaccinated and 72% with the first dose.

Also last Wednesday (17), Germany broke the record of registered cases in 24 hours. There were 52,826 new infected in the period. 294 deaths were also reported, according to the government-linked Robert Koch Institute. Records of infections and deaths were also recorded in Russia and Austria.

The moving average of deaths hit its highest in Bulgaria last week, reaching 1,186. More than 90% of victims were not vaccinated. In neighboring Romania, the peak appears to have passed, but the average death toll has parked on a high plateau: 300 people a day.

For Vecina, despite Brazil having improved its rates, the health crisis will only end when the virus stops circulating in other countries as well. “It’s not enough to just reduce the cases in Brazil. As long as covid-19 continues to haunt other locations, there is the possibility of new variants appearing and starting all over again. It is essential to continue the vaccination in two doses and, as soon as possible, apply the third”, he defends.

Check out the interview