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  • Rovindu Ambagolla

Monday Market Musings>>>Winter is Coming–Struggling with Corona Virus Outbreaks Throughout Winter

Picture Credit: Josh Hild

With the winter months almost upon us, so is a fresh wave of the Coronavirus. The Delta variant still runs rampant through countries with low vaccination rates, forcing lockdowns, mandatory mask wearing and social distancing as precautions to try and curb the spread of the virus.

Russia is currently facing a major outbreak and is recording up to 38,000 cases daily. The new surge in cases has caused more than a thousand deaths in the last twenty-four hours and Russia have now set the highest recorded deaths in Europe with over 225,000 deceased. This new winter wave has forced Russia to take firm action. Schools, kindergartens, restaurants, cinemas, gyms and many more venues have been forced to close because of the latest outbreak. President Putin has also warned citizens of the grave consequences of not getting vaccinated.

Eastern European countries like Latvia have also been grappling with a new surge of the virus. Latvia recently had to initiate a lockdown which will extend throughout the month. Romania is also struggling with a new outbreak of the virus. The situation in Romania is so bad that funeral homes have reported a shortage of coffins.

Picture Source: Reuters Website

Whilst it is mostly Eastern European countries who have low vaccination rates that are facing outbreaks, pressure is also mounting on countries such as the UK and the US to re-consider restrictions to further avoid any spikes in cases. The UK has one of the highest vaccination rates with over 67% of the country fully vaccinated. However, with the recent ease of restrictions in the country, they have recently recorded the highest weekly Covid cases since July.

Since the US and the UK were one of the first countries in the world to start vaccination drives, they will also be the first to need booster shots as the vaccine potency erodes over time. This has further driven the argument to have strong social distancing and mask wearing initiatives in the UK and the US, which is currently not the case.

“The expected colder temperatures, the waning vaccination efficacy and the gaps in the immunisation coverage makes it difficult to predict the epidemic’s evolution” comments Arnaud Fontanet, an epidemiologist at Institut Pasteur who advise the French government.

However, many countries are slowly developing new ways to ensure the containment of the virus. With the introduction of vaccine passports and mandatory vaccinations before being able to visit public places such as restaurants and cinemas, the virus is slowly starting to be constrained. Countries whose populations have vaccine hesitancy however are not faring well in the battle against Covid-19.

October 25th 2021 | 01:10 PM

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