Mexico could see another COVID-19 wave in November and December, said PAHO’s Cristian Morales, following Day of the Death celebrations and the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Most of the country is in in the “green light” in the COVID-19 risk map but as measures meant to avoid the spread of the virus relax, cases are expected to increase. These two recent celebrations did not enforce social distancing, the use of facemasks and other non-pharmacological measures to contain COVID-19, according to Morales. “Even if it is possible to avoid an outbreak, let us remember that despite the fact that the epidemiological risk map is green in most of the country, there are more than 20,000 active cases.” 2022 will also be marked by more COVID-19 waves, added Morales.
Several countries are also dealing with COVID-19 waves. Last week, the EU was called the epicenter of the pandemic once again after cases grew by 55 percent in the last four weeks. During that period, the EU and Asia accounted for 59 percent of all global cases and 48 percent of reported deaths.
“Despite near-record COVID-19 cases, new deaths are at approximately half the peak levels. This reflects the life-saving effects of vaccines and the Herculean task of health authorities, the health workforce and communities to develop, administer and accept vaccines,” said Hans Kluge, Europe’s Regional Director, WHO.
The pandemic has been especially strong in Eastern Europe (the Czech Republic, San Marino, Hungary and Poland), which has the lowest vaccination rates in the region. While 80 percent of Spain’s population has a complete vaccination scheme, in Germany the rate drops to 66 percent and it goes even lower in some Eastern European countries.
Despite concerns, vaccination has proven to be 90 percent effective in preventing deaths from the delta variant, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study analyzed of 114,706 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Scotland between April and September 2021. Almost all infections were of the delta variant. The study found that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was 91 percent effective in preventing deaths in people who have received both doses, while the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 90 percent effective.