A man wearing a face mask to protect against COVID-19 looks at an information board at train station in Paris on June 30, 2022. (MICHEL EULER / AP)
ROME / MOSCOW / GENEVA – A fresh autumn wave of COVID-19 infections has begun in many European countries, and experts are calling for strengthened vaccination efforts and tighter health measures as cases are set to keep rising this winter.
Greece confirmed 55,242 cases in the week of Oct 10-16, an increase of 8 percent compared to the previous week
Greece confirmed 55,242 cases in the week of Oct 10-16, an increase of 8 percent compared to the previous week. Of the new weekly infections, 21 percent are reinfections, the National Public Health Organization reported Tuesday.
The report also said that during the week of Oct 10-16, 1,351 COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospitals, up 23 percent compared to the previous week.
In the Netherlands, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has continued to rise, reaching its highest level since April 15. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said that new infections may rise sharply in the near future.
Finnish National radio Yle reported earlier this week that the current rate of deaths caused by COVID-19 in Finland is five times the EU average. So far in October, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has reported 261 deaths.
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On Monday, the Italian health ministry recommended the use of new bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for the third booster shot for vulnerable people, which should be administered 120 days after the second booster. The third booster shot is recommended for elderly people aged over 80, vulnerable people over 60, and residents of care homes.
In Belgium, health authorities have drawn up a winter plan to contain the latest wave. The plan is based on a new booster vaccination campaign, and the return of mask-wearing in certain places.
The Belgian plan also recommends that people with fragile health should wear FFP2 masks on public transport and in busy indoor places.
Steve Russell, Britain's National Health Service director for vaccination and screening, said this winter "could be the first time we see the effects of the so-called 'twindemic' with both COVID-19 and flu in full circulation."
Meanwhile, Dutch Health Minister Ernst Kuipers recently warned: "The current situation presents extra risks, especially for vulnerable groups of people. So stick to the basic advice and for the vulnerable: get the repeat vaccination shot to maintain your protection."
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Russia recorded 10,656 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 21,335,087, the official monitoring and response center said Wednesday.
The nationwide death toll increased by 92 to 389,176, while the number of recoveries rose by 20,859 to 20,659,469.