The pandemic may seem like a bygone era, but it’s a reality with major tweaks.
Because even though it’s been a long time since most of us have thought about measures and infection rates, the pandemic continues to unfold. Infection rates in the EU are roughly on par with the winter of 2020/2021, and now stocks are also beginning to tilt upward.
The country that really stands out in Europe is Portugal, which in recent weeks has recorded the second highest infection pressure during the epidemic, and the number of deaths is increasing dramatically.
The country currently has about 200 cases per 100,000 population. If you don’t remember the infection pressure numbers well, these are numbers so high that Norway as a whole didn’t see them until the fall of last year.
Omikron variant that can circumvent protection
The new boom is blamed on the new omikron variant BA.5. The variant that most Norwegians have had is BA.1 and BA.2.
According to the European Institute for the Control of Infectious Diseases ECDC This variant spreads because it is able to bypass the immune response given by a previous infection or vaccination, “particularly if it has weakened over time”.
Already this winter, it became clear that the booster vaccines did not provide significant protection for more than 3-6 months.
We are now following BA.4 and BA.5 closely. These prints have been detected mainly in South Africa and particularly BA.4 which causes the infection to spread there. However, a certain increase in cases was also observed in some European countries, especially with BA.5 and especially in countries that did not previously have a significant wave of BA.2, such as Portugal. Also in countries that previously experienced a larger BA.2 wave, the prevalence of BA.5 is rapidly increasing, FHI wrote in its latest weekly report.
The country next door to a true Norway vacation favorite
Portugal is a popular holiday country in its own right, but it is also the neighboring country of Spain which is a favorite for vacationers in Norway.
Spain recently lifted entry restrictions, and currently has relatively low infection rates. The big question is what happens if they face the same infection challenge.
The online paper asked FHI Chief Medical Officer Preben Avezland how they assessed the risk of new rounds of lockdown in Europe this summer:
– There was a lot of grafting and a big omicron wave in Europe. This provides good protection for the population against dangerous diseases. As our European colleagues explain, they have a high threshold for recommending new restrictive measures to control infection.
Most countries without entry restrictions
While entry restrictions in one form or another were the norm in Europe until recently, most countries have now abolished the Corona passport requirement.
On Tuesday afternoon, only Portugal and France of the major countries, in addition to Malta, are required to have a Corona passport.
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