Current situation Corona outlook 2022: WHO cautiously optimistic
Bonn/Region · Netherlands warn against shopping trips to Germany. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is cautiously optimistic about the likely Corona situation next year. Current developments around the pandemic and case numbers can be found in our liveblog.
Netherlands warn against shopping trips to Germany
Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge has called on his countrymen not to travel to Germany or Belgium for shopping in view of the Corona pandemic for the time being. "If it is unreasonable to go through the shopping streets in the Netherlands, then it is the same in Antwerp or Aachen," De Jonge said on Wednesday, according to the ANP news agency. "I urge you: Stay at home.“
A lockdown is in place in the Netherlands until at least 14 January to curb the spread of the highly contagious Omikron variant. Shops, restaurants, schools, cultural and sports facilities are closed. Exceptions are made for supermarkets and pharmacies. Since Tuesday, Omikron is officially considered the dominant variant of the coronavirus in the Netherlands.
To escape the lockdown and to be able to visit shops and restaurants at least under 2G conditions, many Dutch people have travelled to cities in neighbouring countries in recent days. On Wednesday, the Dutch railways advised against using trains in the direction of Belgium. They are often so crowded that it is impossible to keep the required minimum distance.
Corona outlook 2022: WHO cautiously optimistic
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is cautiously optimistic about the likely Corona situation next year. Among other things, it is important that at least 70 percent of the population in each country is vaccinated by the middle of the year, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva on Wednesday. Then it would be possible for the pandemic to run its course, at least with its severe courses, he said. "We can bring the phase of hospitalisations and death to an end," said WHO expert Mike Ryan. The WHO is also counting on further progress in the use of drugs in the treatment against Covid-19 next year.
Tedros again urged all states not to be selfish but to help distribute the vaccine equitably. "It's time to move beyond short-term nationalism and protect populations and economies through equitable distribution of the vaccine worldwide." Just before Christmas, about half of WHO's 194 member countries did not have 40 percent of their populations vaccinated. In about 40 countries, not even ten percent were vaccinated.
Two years after the outbreak of the pandemic, the WHO recalled the 278 million Corona infections and the nearly 5.4 million deaths worldwide. "The actual number of victims is much higher," Tedros said. Not to mention the many millions of people who would have to deal with the consequences of Long-Covid. Populism, narrow-minded nationalism and hoarding of medical equipment have prepared the ground for new variants, the WHO criticised.
(Original text: dpa/ga; Translation: Mareike Graepel)