A new wave of COVID-19 in the world?

A new wave of COVID-19 in the world?
Fecha de publicación: 
30 June 2022
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Specialists warn again about the increase in cases of COVID-19 infections in several countries after some restrictions were lifted, such as the mandatory use of face masks.

Reports from the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico and several European nations make scientists think that it could be a new wave, this time caused mainly by the BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

BA.4 and BA.5 first appeared in South Africa in January and February 2022, respectively, and scientists warn that these two variants are spreading much faster than the rest of the other omicron variants, and both will be predominant in a short time.

With the arrival of summer, travel increases and many nations have relaxed their restrictive measures, but the truth is that Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Denmark and the Netherlands also register a worrying rise in infections, according to statistics from OUR World in Data.

How are nations responding to such a rise in contagions?

Mexico informed that it would resume daily case reports, after the Aztec nation reported a record number of infections for this month on June 21 with 13,752 patients and 41 deaths. Although these numbers are very far from those of the start of the pandemic, health authorities have recognized that the country is in the midst of a new wave of COVID-19.

Hugo López-Gatell, deputy secretary of Health, detailed in a recent press conference that “it has been a slow increase thanks to the immunization of the population. The most important thing is that, although cases are increasing, hospitalizations are not on the rise,” he said.

Portugal has been dealing, since May, with an increase in cases, despite having 87 percent of its population vaccinated, but, in the same way, hospitals are not saturated.

Epidemiologists believe that Portugal is already at the peak of the contagion curve, as it has the highest incidence rate of cases every seven days in Europe, and the figures are beginning to drop.

France, with an incidence rate of cases of 447 per 100,000 inhabitants (data: 06/18/2022), considers that its epidemic curve is exponential, according to Antoine Flahault, epidemiologist and director of the Institute of Global Health of the School of Medicine at the University of Geneva.

He acknowledged that “it looks like a new wave, triggered by the BA.4 and BA.6 sub-variants,” but declined to describe how the situation would develop in France.

He warned that, taking into account what is happening in Portugal, where the wave will take between nine to ten weeks, and what happened in South Africa, about eight weeks, the French country will have to deal with this problem for most of the summer.

In Germany, the Robert Koch Institute reported last Wednesday June 22, a nearly 119,000 coronavirus infections in 24 hours.

“It is not that we can ignore this wave in the summer…” German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told the media. He believes it is necessary to prevent the wave in the autumn with protective measures and another major vaccination campaign, although he considered that "the alarm is not necessary."

Denmark, where the figures are still low, announced a fourth vaccination campaign for people over 50 years of age, as the numbers of infections have increased faster than expected.

In Cuba, without face masks, but without lowering our guard

In Cuba, luckily, the situation is not ignored. Until June 21, there were 38,378,974 doses administered in the country with the Cuban vaccines Soberana 02, Soberana Plus and Abdala, according to a report from the MINSAP official website.

90% of the population, 9,971,815 people, had the full vaccination schedule to date.

Cuba could be the first country in the world to immunize its entire population with homegrown vaccines. The population, the Cuban Foreign Ministry stated via Twitter, wants and trusts the vaccine candidates, our science, and the country's experience in developing vaccines.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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