The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, and even countries with vaccinated populations are not spared the risk of new outbreaks due to possible mutations, against which vaccines may be powerless. This opinion was expressed to Izvestia by a number of foreign epidemiologists.
“Nobody is safe until everyone is safe. Currently, countries are mostly holding back the flow of people, but it is clear that with the resumption of travel between countries, the infection will soon spread again, ”said Haruka Sakamoto, a public health expert at the University of Tokyo.
Also, she said, there is a serious problem with mutated strains: the longer the infection lasts, the higher the risk of mutations. Sakamoto stressed that this could pose a threat to countries in which the population has already been vaccinated, as there is a possibility that current vaccines do not work against new types of mutation.
In turn, the head of the Global Outbreak Alert Network, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dale Fisher noted that some countries have still achieved an improvement in the epidemic situation thanks to a combination of vaccines and traditional non-drug interventions, but no country can yet say that the pandemic is over.
“Most countries still have low vaccination rates, and even well-vaccinated countries will have areas with low vaccine uptake. Therefore, most of the world remains vulnerable to COVID, the number of diseases of which is growing, ”he said.
According to the director of the Italian Institute of Pharmacological Research. Mario Negri Giuseppe Remuzzi, at present, the United Kingdom was able to more or less curb the third wave of the pandemic by vaccinating the population over 45 years old and starting to vaccinate people 40-44 years old. A similar control was observed in Israel and in the small San Marino, where almost the entire adult population was covered with vaccines.
“In the EU, adequate doses for mass introduction of the vaccine have been available since mid-April and it is hoped that the current wave of COVID-19 in Europe will be brought under control by mid-summer. But globally, the pandemic is not over yet, and in the past few weeks it has only been gaining momentum, mainly in parts of Asia and South America, ”said Remuzzi.
On March 30, WHO published a report on the results of its experts’ trip to China to investigate the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Experts considered the laboratory origin of the coronavirus extremely unlikely. One of the most plausible versions is the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans from bats through an unknown intermediate animal.
On March 19, the official representative of the European Commission, Dana Spinant, announced that the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic had begun in Europe.
An outbreak of COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus occurred in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019, then the virus began to spread in other countries. On March 11, 2020, WHO characterized the spread of coronavirus in the world as a pandemic.
According to the latest data from the International Bureau of Statistics Worldometer, 151.1 million cases of COVID-19 have been registered in the world today, 3.1 million people have died, and 128.6 million patients have recovered.