Second Covid-19 Wave Fears: Virus Resurgence, Remdesivir & Reopening EU Borders

Written by | Monday, June 29th, 2020

A “significant resurgence” in Covid-19 cases in nearly a dozen European countries risk pushing the continent’s health systems to the brink once more, WHO Europe warned on Thursday (25 June). “In 11 of the countries, accelerated transmissions has led to a very significant resurgence that if left unchecked will push health systems to the brink once again in Europe,” Dr, Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe said. He also praised Spain, Germany, Poland, and Israel for their rapid and targeted interventions in response to “dangerous outbreaks of Covid-19 associated with schools, coal mines, and food production.” Most EU countries have significantly eased lockdown restrictions imposed in March to stem the spread of the virus when they recently reopened their borders to each other and dropped requirements for EU nationals to quarantine when visiting.
While there is no known cure or vaccine to treat Covid-19, ‚remdesivir‘, a drug originally developed to treat Ebola, is now set to be used for treating patients in the EU, after receiving the green light from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Thursday (25 June). The experts advised remdesivir to be used for patients over the age of 12 who require oxygen supplements. The European Commission is still required to approve the drug, marketed as Veklury, but this is usually viewed as a formality. Regulators in Japan and the US have already signed off on its use. Meanwhile, EU officials are debating who will be allowed and who will be banned to enter the EU on 1 July when the bloc’s international borders are scheduled to be opened. The list has already stirred controversy after news leaked that the United States, as the worst-affected country worldwide by Covid-19, is on the ‚banned list‘.
As many European governments are now designing plans for loosening lockdowns, the pandemic crisis “shows a need for more cooperation between EU member states in the future” – concluded the survey entitled ‚Europe’s Pandemic Politics: How the Virus Has Changed the Public’s Worldview,‘ published on Wednesday (24 June). With some 63% of Europeans holding this view, the report on the findings describes the levels of “public disillusionment” as “disturbing.” As EU leaders will next month debate a recovery plan that will involve raising trillions of euros in public funding, “the great paradox of Covid-19 is that it was the absence rather than the success of the European Union that demonstrated its relevance in the first stage of the crisis that urged European governments to opt for deeper integration,” says Ivan Krastev, one of the authors of this report. It is hoped that agreement on the fund can be reached at an EU summit on 17 July.

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