COVID19: EU must act now for winter waves

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EU member states should start preparing for a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in autumn and winter; the bloc’s health chief said there had been a “worrying increase” in outbreaks.

Reuters reported that Cypriot European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides also warned there was no room for complacency, saying the pandemic was not over.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic has shown a worrying increase in several countries,” she told CyBC radio.

“For the past two months, we have been preparing for the autumn and winter, fully aware the next pandemic wave cannot and should not further burden our economies or our societies, particularly at a time when it is being affected by the war and invasion of Ukraine, and inflation”.

Kyriakides said the Commission had asked member states to accelerate booster shots now for people over 60 and vulnerable groups.

“These months should be preparatory months …

“So our health systems are ready for possible new waves which might, for instance, be combined with seasonal flu.”

Cyprus reported 12 deaths in its weekly Covid bulletin on Friday, as new cases and hospitalisations dropped marginally to 10,152 and 104, respectively.

The June death toll was limited to six, and for May, it was 23, while April’s figure was 75, just ahead of 67 in March.

Coronavirus infections since the pandemic are 556,048 and 1,099 deaths.