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COVID-19 threatens to rear its ugly head again partly in Europe

COVID-19 threatens to rear its ugly head again partly in Europe

Posted November. 13, 2021 07:10,   

Updated November. 13, 2021 07:10


The COVID-19 pandemic seems to rebound in some parts of Europe such as Germany where a return to normal was put in place early. As those unvaccinated have become the culprit of the rising COVID-19 infection trends, countries affected are working to strengthen quarantine regulations such as an order for those not injected with COVID-19 vaccines to stay home.

Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have seen an incremental uptick of the number of confirmed cases to reach their highest levels since the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Reuters. Live statistics and coronavirus news tracking website Worldometer reported that Germany on Thursday recorded 50,377 new confirmed cases, higher by 1.6 times than the highest figure reached mid-December last year – the time when things only worsened before COVID-19 vaccines became accessible with daily confirmed cases at 31,000. Austria and the Netherlands also showed the highest daily figure ever of 11,975 and 16,287, respectively, since the onset of the pandemic outbreak.

In particular, those unvaccinated are at the center of the fast spread of COVID-19. As of now, 67 percent in Germany, 63 percent in Austria and 69 percent in the Netherlands are completely vaccinated – all of which have not reached a threshold of 70 percent in full vaccination rates. German Minister of Health Jens Spahn said that the nation is severely affected by the pandemic primarily led by citizens not vaccinated yet.

Under these circumstances, quarantine measures have only been tightened across countries that are being severely affected by the coronavirus. Oberösterreich, an Austrian federal province with the lowest full vaccination rate, has been hardest hit by COVID-19 in the nation. The provincial government decided to deter those unvaccinated from going out of their place for unnecessary reasons starting from next Monday, according to BBC News.

Austrian President Alexander Schallenberg explained that the measure practically bans those not vaccinated from leaving their house unless they go to work, buy groceries and work out, adding that they will unavoidably have to see some inconveniences this winter. Austria has announced to prevent those not vaccinated from accessing restaurants, hair salons and hotels early next month.

The German government is scheduled next Monday to restrict access of those unvaccinated to restaurants, movie theaters, museums and indoor auditoriums in Berlin and Brandenburg Province. Anyone who has not yet got injected with COVID-19 vaccines will not be allowed to have access to restaurants and other major facilities even if a medical diagnosis statement is submitted to testify that the person is negative. The Dutch government is also considering taking measures to limit free movement of citizens who have not been fully vaccinated.

Jong-Yeob JO jjj@donga.com