Eastern European countries with below-average COVID vaccination rates are facing an increase in infections, data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows.
According to the latest data released on Thursday, the 14-day incidence rate of COVID-19 infections among the 31 EU / EEA countries is 166.5 houses per 100,000 population.
The rates are well above the average in Eastern European countries, including in the Baltic countries, where they range from 859 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to 972.2, and in Romania, Slovenia and Bulgaria, where the rates are respectively. in 858, 555 and 403 cases. per 100,000 inhabitants.
All of these countries have below-average vaccination rates. Some 74.7% of adults in the EU / EEA they are fully vaccinated, according to the ECDC.
In the Baltic countries, Lithuania has the highest vaccination rate with 70.2% of the population aged 18 and over now fully protected, while neighboring Latvia has the lowest with 52.2%.
Slovenia has also fully inoculated more than half of its adult population, but in Romania and Bulgaria, the rates drop to only 34.8% and 23.6% respectively.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Bulgaria has the highest Rate of deaths from COVID-19 relative to population.
The nation of 6.9 million people has mourned the loss of 22,004 lives since the start of the pandemic, which translates to 315.4 deaths per 100,000 people.
Other European nations in the top 10 most affected globally include Romania (209 deaths per 100,000), the United Kingdom (207 deaths per 100,000), Russia (149 deaths per 100,000) and Ukraine (143 deaths per 100,000).
Russia, eastern Ukraine and Hungary are currently battling record levels of infections.
The number of daily deaths from COVID-19 in Russia hit another record Thursday with 986 deaths seen in the past 24 hours, according to the Coronavirus Task Force.
Authorities also reported 31,299 new infections, also a new record for the country.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Tuesday that some 43 million Russians, or nearly 29% of the country’s nearly 146 million people, were fully vaccinated.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized the need to speed up the vaccination rate, but has also warned that people should not be forced to get vaccinated.
Despite the growing death toll, the Kremlin also ruled out a new nationwide lockdown like the one in the first months of the pandemic, which severely crippled the economy and downgraded Putin, while delegating the power to enforce the laws. coronavirus restrictions on regional authorities.
Some Russian regions already have restricted attendance at large public events and limited access to theaters, restaurants, and other venues. But life is still largely normal in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and many other Russian cities with unlimited access to restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, and other venues.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Thursday that more than 1.1 million COVID-19 patients are currently in hospitals, adding that the number is putting a “great burden” on the health care system of the nation.
Authorities in Hungary on Thursday recorded their highest daily number of new COVID-19 cases in five months amid a surge in coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations.
A total of 1,141 new infections were reported, the highest daily total since May 14. The increase took the number of cases so far this week to a 37% increase over the same period last week. The country of nearly 10 million has 742 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the highest number since the beginning of June.
Pandemic containment measures in Hungary have been largely repealed since early July and masks are not required in public areas.
On Monday, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences recommended that masks be worn in enclosed areas, at events and on public transport to “curb the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As of Thursday, 66.6% of Hungarian adults were fully vaccinated, below the European Union average of 74.7%, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Russian-backed separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday reported the largest increase in new coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic, saying the health care system has been overwhelmed.
Separatist authorities have asked Russia for more help and a convoy is expected to deliver Russian vaccines, ventilators and other medical equipment on Thursday.
Health authorities in the Donetsk region of 2.2 million reported 1,005 new confirmed infections and 97 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The regional health department described the situation as “extremely tense” and said it faces a shortage of hospital beds and oxygen.
The region, which has been running its own affairs with Russian political, economic and military support since declaring independence in April 2014, has so far seen 5,578 confirmed deaths from viruses. About 10% of the population have received at least one dose of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine or its unique version, Sputnik Light.
The neighboring breakaway Lugansk region reported an equally tense coronavirus situation, with its authorities closing schools and imposing a strict lockdown starting Wednesday. The region of 1.4 million has recorded a total of 1,708 deaths from viruses.
Ukraine’s health authorities say they cannot provide assistance to the rebellious eastern regions because they have no access there.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism