Only people over 80 with a fourth needle immediately, insist experts in the EU

l Greece and Spain are already in a new wave of COVID – the infected in Europe jump by 32% in a week

l For indoor masks and a second booster call in Spain, France and Italy

Traditional summer destinations such as Greece and Spain report a drastic increase in the number of people infected with the coronavirus. Against this background, according to the statistics of the World Health Organization, the number of new cases in the world increased by 18% for the past week – more than 4.1 million infected were registered. So far, according to WHO data, on a global scale there are over 544,000,000 confirmed infections.

Deaths worldwide remain at the same level as last week, numbering 8,500 in the last 7 days. Their number has increased in three regions – the Middle East, Southeast Asia, America – North and South.

So far, more than 6,330,000 people have died worldwide

The largest weekly increase in COVID-19-related deaths was in the Middle East, where they rose by 47%. Infections rose by about 32 percent in Europe and Southeast Asia and by about 14 percent in the Americas.

Doctors are warning that hospitals could be overwhelmed by the summer unless vulnerable people and those over 60 get a fourth dose as soon as possible.

According to the latest available opinion on the second successive booster of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), it is too early to consider the use of a fourth dose of vaccines against COVID-19 for all citizens. In April, the agency agreed that a fourth dose could be injected in adults over 80. However, the ECP said there is currently no clear evidence in the EU that the protection of the third dose is significantly reduced in adults, so there is no need to immediately insert a fourth needle .

Most worrisome in our region is the drastic increase in the number of infected people in Greece, which is traditionally a preferred summer vacation destination for Bulgarians and our neighbors from the Balkans. The country reports more than 16,000 infections daily. At this stage, masks are only required to be worn on public transport and on ferries, although in practice this is not fully enforced. The islands are among the most affected by the COVID wave, but health authorities in

Greece is not bringing back the mandatory test to enter the country for now.

The Minister of Health, Thanos Plevris, still recommends that tourists avoid public places where it is not possible to maintain a distance, and enter commercial establishments with masks, although it is not mandatory.

Vaccination begins with the fourth dose. As of the beginning of last week, the second booster became available to Greeks over the age of 30. Previously, the booster injection was given only to those over 60 years old. By the end of June, more than 72% of citizens had a full course of immunization.

Spain is experiencing a 7th wave in a row

of the coronavirus. The pressure on hospitals is increasing, and among people over the age of 60, cases exceed 1,000 infected per 100,000 inhabitants. The Ministry of Health reports an increase in the number of hospitalized patients and pressure on intensive care units, especially in the northern province of La Rioja – nearly 11%, followed by Madrid and Catalonia, and the lowest remains in Andalusia. In the last week alone, the number of infected people increased by 136,000, and the number of deaths increased by 312.

Health Minister Carolina Darias called for “prudence” and recommended the re-use of masks indoors amid an increase in infections. According to her, the administration of the fourth dose and the arrival in the fall of the new vaccines adapted to the latest variants of omicron (BA.4 and BA.5) will be crucial to limiting the incidence. Health authorities warn that the danger is higher in the summer due to the lifting of measures in many countries. Until

in Spain more than 85% are vaccinated

by the citizens.

In France authorities also urged people to resume wearing masks in crowded spaces and on public transport. The call was made at a time when the country is fighting a new, seventh wave of the virus. The new wave of COVID infections in the country will peak at the end of July, experts quoted by Reuters predict. The current wave is caused by the omicron sub-variant BA.5.

Last week there were days with nearly 125,000 new cases, while 7 days earlier the most common number of new cases was around 78,000.

People in France who are eligible for a fourth vaccination – those over 60 and nursing home residents – are even getting reminder emails to go for their second booster shot. More than 78% of the French have had a complete vaccination cycle.

Italy is now in fourth place in Europe and has overtaken Russia in terms of infected people

In the past week, the country registered between 85,000 and 95,000 cases per day, compared to around 50,000 7 days earlier. Already in April, the country’s health authorities approved the installation of a second booster for the most vulnerable groups. Then they allowed a 4th dose for people over 80, nursing home residents and people over 60 who are classified as vulnerable and have had their last dose at least 120 days before. 80% of citizens are fully vaccinated.

AT Germany concern is growing that after the end of the summer there will be a new wave of people infected with the coronavirus. Official data show that the morbidity rate is already on the rise. The Robert Koch Institute reported that the national seven-day incidence rate was 696.5, slightly higher than the previous day’s reading (682.7) and significantly higher than last week’s (632.9). “It will be a tough autumn, we must be ready,” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told Aer De TV. “We will have great difficulty with the BA.5 strain that is now spreading in our country,” Lauterbach said, adding that the large number of new infections could overwhelm the health system. There is debate over whether to take new measures. So far, a second booster is not being given, and just over 76% of Germans are fully vaccinated.

Denmark will offer a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine later this year because of rising cases of the BA.5 variant in Europe.

In April, the country registered about 600 cases of infection per day, while at the end of June, the number exceeded 1,500 daily. The fourth dose will begin to be injected into the residents of nursing homes from September 15, and from October 1 – to those over 50 years of age. According to the forecasts of the Danish authorities, revaccination will be offered to about 2.5 million people in the autumn.

There is a sharp increase in cases of infection with COVID-19 in Great Britain. According to some figures, by more than 500,000 in a week. National statistics now show 2.3 million Britons, or one in 30, are infected, an increase of 32% in a week. The increase in cases is again due to the two new, very rapidly spreading omicron subvariants. Health authorities are urging everyone over the age of 75 who has not been vaccinated or is without a booster dose to hurry up and get immunized. A fourth dose is available for this group. Infections are highest in Scotland, where one in every 18 people is a carrier of the virus. With all doses of vaccine over 74% of Britons.

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