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COVID-19

EU urges countries to reinstate curbs to halt coronavirus resurgence

EU health authorities have urged countries to consider reinstating some restrictions if they have started seeing a resurgence of new coronavirus cases.

EU urges countries to reinstate curbs to halt coronavirus resurgence
Germany was one of the countries that reported most of the new cases in late July, said ECDC. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP

In its latest risk assessment, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said there was evidence that the novel coronavirus was picking up speed.

“While many countries are now testing mild and asymptomatic cases, which has resulted in increased case reports, there is a true resurgence in cases in several countries as a result of physical distancing measures being relaxed,” the agency said.

The Stockholm-based agency said for those countries seeing an increase “the risk of further escalation of Covid-19 is high”.

If those countries fail to implement or reinforce restrictions, the risk was “very high”, it warned.

 

According to the ECDC, countries that had seen the increase after control measures were lifted, “should consider re-instating selected measures through a phased, step-wise and sustainable approach”.

The ECDC also said the total number of daily cases, as well as the 14-day incidence rate seemed to be increasing, “although it is currently lower than the first peak which occurred on April 9th, 2020”.

In the two weeks leading up to August 2th, most of the over 100,000 new cases were reported in Spain, Romania, France, the UK and Germany, it said.

According to a tally by AFP, over 3.3 million cases of Covid-19 have so far been recorded in Europe as well as 213,353 deaths.

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COVID-19

Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

Denmark has received its first supply of Paxlovid, an antiviral treatment for Covid-19.

Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

A first stock of Paxlovid, a tablet which can be described by doctors to combat Covid-19 symptoms, has been delivered to Denmark, health authorities confirmed in a statement.

“The first delivery has arrived today and the rest will be delivered continuously during the coming period,” the Danish Health Authority said.

Denmark has purchased 40,000 treatment courses of the medicine.

Doctors decide when to prescribe the medicine, which is suitable for adults infected with Covid-19 who are at risk of serious illness with Covid-19. It is taken over a course of five days when symptoms are still mild.

“Treatment with Paxlovid is for the patients who are at greatest risk of serious illness with Covid-19 and the treatment will be an important part of the future management of Covid-19,” the Health Authority said in the statement.

The arrival of a medicine for Covid-19 does not signal the end of vaccination which remains “the most effective measure to prevent serious illness and death,” it said.

Denmark has purchased the Paxlovid supply through a deal with pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) has 2.2 million Covid-19 vaccines which have been in storage for so long that they are no longer usable, news wire Ritzau earlier reported.

The vaccines were purchased when Denmark was acquiring as many as possible during the pandemic but because they are not effective against newer variants of the coronavirus, they can no longer be used.

Another 3.6 million doses in storage at SSI can only be used for the initial two doses for as-yet unvaccinated people – who are now limited in number given Denmark’s high vaccine uptake. This means they are unusable in the current booster programme.

The cost of the 5.8 million vaccines is estimated at between 116 and 783 million kroner.

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