November 27, 2021

Europe has once again become the engine of the pandemic

The story repeats itself. Europe has once again become the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. One year after the epidemic earthquake of autumn 2020, the Old Continent is the victim of a powerful aftershock. Last year, he witnessed a stunned surge in new reported cases, which peaked at 2 million in the first week of November. A year later almost to the day, it is preparing to cross this threshold again, after having experienced a spring wave then a great summer ebb. A respite which, like a year ago, had led to believe in a way out of the crisis. In vain. “The epidemic has the same form of dispersion as the Bolero by Ravel, where each instrument takes the stage one after the other, indicates Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute for Global Health (University of Geneva). Not everyone enters the epidemic phase at the same time, each geographic cluster plays its part. “

  • Europe in turmoil

So it’s Europe’s turn. Between the 1is and on November 7, the European zone regrouped more than 60% of new Covid-19 infections diagnosed worldwide. And 55% of all deaths (26,726) linked to the pandemic, notes the World Health Organization (WHO). “The number of new cases in Europe increased by 7%, while deaths increased by 10%”, underlines the UN institution. By contrast, “Other regions of the world have reported decreases or stable trends [des nouvelles infections] », except Africa, which experienced a slight increase (+ 4%). As for the global toll of the pandemic, it stood on November 7 at 250 million recorded cases and more than 5 million declared deaths, according to the WHO. A number of deaths which is undoubtedly very underestimated.

“Across Europe, the summer brake has been lifted. The fact that confined spaces are now less ventilated is surely one of the keys to the current epidemic rebound, analyse Antoine Flahault. The other brakes represented by vaccination coverage and barrier gestures are not enough to counter the Delta variant, which is very contagious. “

These new case and death rates, which have now been climbing for five to six weeks in a row, are expected to rise further over the next two weeks, reports the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). As of November 7, the rate of new cases stood at 383.9 per 100,000 inhabitants, against 316.4 the previous week for all countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area. Another concern: the rate of new deaths linked to Covid-19 (over fourteen days) is also increasing. As of November 7, it was 35.5 deaths per million inhabitants, against 32.3 the previous one. For its part, France crossed the threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on November 15.

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