Here’s how Covid-19 hits hospitals in five key European countries


However, the vaccination rollout has kept hospital admissions well below what they were in the first months of 2021.

As a result, Europe presents a varied picture as governments brace for a potential increase in cases during the fall and winter months.

Here is the situation in five key European countries.

Great Britain

After starting 2021 with one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in Europe, the UK lifted virtually all remaining restrictions in July despite a slight increase in cases. Large events and nightclubs can operate without distancing measures, and masks are no longer required in most public places.
Hospitalizations have increased since that date. In early September, daily admissions of Covid-19 patients hit a seven-day moving average of 1,000 for the first time since February, according to official data.

But the strong rollout of vaccination in the UK has kept numbers well below what they were at the winter peak; in January, more than 4,000 people were admitted to UK hospitals with the virus every day, although cases were only slightly higher than they are now.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday warned that restrictions could revert in winter if the country’s National Health Service (NHS) risked being overwhelmed. “Covid is still there. The disease unfortunately still remains a risk,” he said at a press conference.

France

Hospital admissions in France have increased throughout August, amid warnings of a fourth wave of the virus hitting facilities Across the country. At the end of the month, more than 11,000 people were hospitalized with Covid-19.

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But hospitalizations showed signs of stabilizing in September. The total number of patients fell below 10,000 – well below the country’s April outbreak, when more than 30,000 people were being treated.

France has put in place strict restrictions on unvaccinated people in an effort to advance its deployment. As of Thursday, healthcare workers must be fully immunized and “health passes” are required to enter restaurants or travel long distances.

The government has confirmed that around 3,000 healthcare workers have been suspended after missing the deadline to be fully immunized.

Italy

Italy was grappling with a huge increase in hospitalizations in April, with more than 32,000 people admitted to health facilities across the country. The number of patients then fell to a low of around 1,250 in mid-July, before rising again in recent weeks, according to Our World in Data.

The country has recorded just under 5,000 hospitalizations in recent days.

After being hit hard at the start of the first wave, Italy was one of the first countries to reopen to visitors in 2020. In 2021, entry was largely limited to residents of the European Union, as well as ‘to a shortlist of non-EU. countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Italy on Thursday became the first country in Europe to require all workers in the public and private sectors to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or a recent recovery from the infection. The rule aims to persuade more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and is expected to go into effect on October 15.

“It’s to do these [work] safer places and strengthen the vaccination campaign, ”said Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza. He called the decree a “strategy which considers the vaccine as the fundamental key to opening a new season”. and over are currently fully immunized, according to government figures.

Tourists in Venice during the summer.

Ireland

Ireland is faring better than some of its closest neighbors in terms of the number of cases and deaths, which are among the lowest in Europe – largely thanks to one of the toughest lockdowns in the world. ‘Europe throughout the pandemic.

Along with its EU counterparts, it has now reopened to visitors. Hospitalizations have since increased, but have always remained lower than previous waves.

There are now signs of a plateau in hospital admissions – around 60 people have been in intensive care units each day throughout September, up from a peak of 221 in January.

Unlike neighboring UK, Ireland still limits the capacity for large indoor and outdoor events, including sporting events.

Ireland’s restrictions are expected to be relaxed from September 20, with fully vaccinated people allowed to meet indoors in groups of no more than 100. From October 22, the government plans to remove the last remaining restrictions on face coverings, social distancing and large gatherings.

Denmark

Denmark has essentially come back to pre-pandemic life this month, allowing citizens to enter nightclubs and restaurants without showing a ‘Covid passport’, use public transport without wearing a face coverings and meet in large numbers without restrictions.

It is too early to say whether this decision will lead to a significant increase in cases and hospitalizations. The number of people hospitalized in Denmark has surpassed 100 in recent weeks – still a small fraction of the previous wave in January, when nearly 1,000 people were hospitalized.
Denmark lifted its last Covid-19 restrictions this month.

The transmission rate, or R rate, currently stands at 0.7, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke tweeted on Wednesday, meaning the epidemic continues to decline. If it is above 1.0, the cases of Covid-19 will increase in the near future. If it is less than 1.0, the cases will decrease in the near future.

“Vaccines and all the citizens in Denmark’s great efforts over a long period of time are the basis for us to do so well,” Heunicke said.

The country has seen far lower case rates than its neighbor Sweden, which became an outlier in Western Europe when it withstood a strict lockdown in 2020. But the two countries are now roughly aligned in terms of hospitalizations.

CNN’s Sarah Dean, Nicolo Ruotolo and Laura Smith-Spark contributed reporting.


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