Winter and autumn are approaching, and many countries are speeding up vaccine purchase to deal with the current and future crises. However, some people are cautious, others are bold. After Denmark completely lifted the restrictions, Britain also listed the blockade as the last choice. But with the advent of the constantly mutating virus superimposed influenza season, maybe not all countries can continue to write “Andersen’s fairy tale” like Denmark.
On the afternoon of September 14 local time, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference to announce England’s autumn and winter anti epidemic plan. According to Johnson, England will implement “plan a” and “plan B” in the coming months to deal with the possible development of the winter epidemic.
According to the newly released road map of the autumn and winter epidemic prevention plan, “plan a” includes two lines of defense. The first line of defense is vaccination, including providing booster vaccination, further encouraging unvaccinated people to vaccinate, and vaccinating adolescents aged 12 to 15; The second line of defense is virus detection and tracking, as well as self isolation.
Johnson said at a news conference that as the majority of British people have been vaccinated against the new crown, the government will implement the “A plan” to deal with COVID-19. However, he stressed that once the “reasonable” risk of the rise in the number of new crown cases leads to the “unsustainable pressure” on the national health service of England, the government will start the “plan B”, including mandatory wearing of masks, recommendations for home office, mandatory production of vaccine passes, etc.
When asked what factors would trigger Plan B, Chris Whitty, chief medical officer of England, put forward three factors – the growth rate of inpatients, the discharge rate of inpatients, and the carrying capacity of the UK national medical service system. In addition, professor Chris Whitty said that the spread of delta mutant strain in winter may also accelerate the implementation of plan B.
However, Johnson also said that “plan B” will bring “more serious economic costs and greater social restrictions”, so it will only be used as a “last resort”. If the “plan B” is implemented, various measures will also be implemented in a “step-by-step” manner, rather than suddenly returning to the blockade of last winter.
In fact, since the COVID-19 blockade was relaxed in May, the UK has been gradually loosening its controls. “Before, it was necessary to wear masks, but later it was stipulated that it was not necessary to wear them. Now it is all voluntary, so some people wear masks and others don’t.” Lina, who lives in downtown London, recalled to reporters that there were basically no epidemic prevention measures since the end of April and the beginning of May. “Now is normal daily life”.
Where does the confidence come from
Britain is not alone in ending the blockade. After more than a year of restrictions, Denmark announced last week to cancel all new epidemic prevention measures, becoming the first EU country to do so. After Denmark, Sweden is also ready to lift most restrictions by the end of this month. Now, almost no one in Denmark wears masks, and most people have returned to the office. On the 11th, a concert was held in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, with a full audience of 50000.
Previously, from mid August, the Danish government no longer required people to wear masks on public transport. At the end of August, the Danish government issued a statement that it would no longer continue to define the new crown as a “serious threat”; From September 10, all restrictive measures except border control will expire and will not be extended.
Compared with other countries, the epidemic situation in Denmark is generally mild. Oxford University data show that the epidemic peaked at the end of December last year, with more than 3500 new cases diagnosed in a single day, and then fell back rapidly. Since February this year, the newly diagnosed cases in Denmark have remained below 1000. “We want to make everyone move freely… Now the virus is no longer a threat to society,” said Simon Sen, an epidemiologist at roskille University in Denmark
After more than 500 days of blockade, what made Denmark completely relax the restrictions? In an interview with Agence France Presse, event planner Peterson said that after canceling all epidemic prevention restrictions, Denmark has been at the forefront, “thanks to the national vaccination plan”. Data show that Denmark has a population of 5.8 million, and 73% have completed vaccination.
“Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Denmark has implemented public health and social distance measures to reduce transmission. At the same time, to a large extent, Denmark’s epidemic prevention measures rely on the active cooperation of the people and communities,” said Smallwood, an emergency officer in the European region of who
Indeed, the high acceptance of the vaccine by the Danish people has accelerated the progress of vaccination in the country. Nature this month published a survey on the global public’s acceptance of the new crown vaccine. The report shows that 87% of Danish respondents are willing to receive the new crown vaccine, ranking fourth in the world, the highest among European and American countries. The top three are Asian countries.
Similarly, the UK has focused on vaccination. According to data released by the British government on the 14th, 64% of the British population has completed vaccination and 71% have received at least one dose of vaccine. Ding Chun, director of the European research center of Fudan University, said that since the gradual relaxation of restrictions, Britain has been vigorously promoting vaccination measures, and even the idea of using a “vaccine passport”, that is, some places are not allowed to enter without vaccination.
Like most British residents, Lina completed the vaccination, but the process was not so smooth. “When the vaccine was started in the early stage, it was open by age, giving priority to the elderly. Later, it was gradually reduced, perhaps because it was worried that the supply could not come. In the United States, the second injection of the same vaccine was given every 20 days. The policy here stipulates that it should take eight weeks. It should be to give the first injection first.” Lina said. There were few places where she could get the Modena vaccine. In order to get it less than eight weeks in advance, Lina went to a small town outside London.
Starting next week, the UK will provide vaccination services for young people aged 12 to 15, and give priority to people over the age of 50 and medical workers. Johnson hopes that further expansion of vaccination will make Britain “one of the few countries with the most freedom of movement” in Europe.
Proceed with caution
In addition to Britain and Denmark in Europe, some countries in Asia are slowly loosening their ties. Last month, Singapore removed the “seal” and relaxed epidemic prevention measures. At present, 77% of Singapore’s population has been vaccinated. When 80% of the local population is vaccinated, Singapore will further relax travel restrictions, economic and social activities. However, who believes that the global epidemic situation is still severe and reminds countries to be cautious. “Every country needs to be vigilant and pay attention to the changes of the epidemic,” Smallwood said
Because vaccination can not completely block the spread of the virus, coupled with the continuous variation of the virus, it is impossible to predict whether high infection, high severity and high death will occur again. “If the spread of the epidemic affects the normal operation of society again, the government will quickly adopt policies to limit the spread of the epidemic,” said Danish health minister Magnus hoynik.
Some scholars worry that due to strict epidemic prevention, the number of excess deaths in Denmark in the past period of time is low. Once fully liberalized, this advantage may disappear. If epidemic data are superimposed, it may have an impact on the medical system. Similarly, in the UK, the autumn and winter season with frequent influenza and other respiratory diseases is coming. Coupled with the opening of schools everywhere, many experts warn that the epidemic in the UK is still at risk of serious deterioration in the coming months.
The novel coronavirus pneumonia confirmed in the UK in the past 24 hours, 26628 cases were confirmed by the 14 official website, which was reduced by nearly 4000 cases compared with the previous day. 185 related deaths were added, an increase of 124 over the previous day. Although the increasing number of cases has decreased, due to the rapid spread of delta variant virus, the new diagnosis in the UK has shown an upward trend since August, with more than 40000 cases on September 6.
Lina also expressed concern about the British medical system. “Although vaccination is now encouraged, once it is diagnosed, it is necessary to isolate myself. There are students around me who have been diagnosed, and then isolated for a few days.”. It is worth noting that while the delta variant is raging all over the world, the new variant mu (Miao) has attracted global attention. On August 30, the World Health Organization (who) designated it as “voi (variant of interest)”.
According to the CDC, the new mutant strain has been detected in 49 states in the United States, and its transmission speed is much faster than expected by infectious disease experts. The statement of the local public health department shows that the Mu variant strain is more infectious and has the potential to escape the protection of some antibodies.