News World Summer heat unlikely to halt coronavirus, EU body says

Summer heat unlikely to halt coronavirus, EU body says

Summer heat is unlikely to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and every country in Europe is forecast to run out of intensive care beds by mid-April unless it acts fast, the European Union’s disease control agency said on Wednesday.

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) cited research which it said suggests that the virus does not become less dangerous in hot and humid conditions, reducing hope that the northern hemisphere could get a respite when the summer arrives.

“There is no evidence to date that SARS-CoV-2 will display a marked winter seasonality, such as other human coronaviruses in the northern hemisphere,” the ECDC said in a report, using the name for the novel virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

The document cited preliminary analyses from the outbreak in China which found the virus was able to maintain high levels of reproduction in tropical places with high humidity, such as Guangxi and Singapore.

That “emphasises the importance of implementing intervention measures such as isolation of infected individuals, workplace distancing, and school closures,” the agency said.

EXCEEDED CAPACITY

Healthcare systems in Europe face a high risk of being saturated, the report said. Its model forecast that existing capacity for intensive care beds would be exceeded in all European countries by mid April, unless steps were taken such as boosting capacity and reducing the spread of the disease.

The ECDC revised up its assessment of the risk posed by the virus to the elderly and those with chronic diseases in Europe to “very high” from “high”. It maintained its assessment that the rest of the public faces a “moderate” danger from the virus.

Overall risks for countries are “moderate” if they take mitigation measures, such school closures, but “very high” in absence of such measures, said the report, which covers the 27 EU countries, plus Britain, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Authorities should provide protective gear and set up proper procedures to protect healthcare workers, who are increasingly exposed to the virus, and could further spread the disease to other patients.

The ECDC said that in China up to 10% of total reported infections were among medics and nurses, far above the nearly 4% rate that has been reported so far in other studies.

In Italy and Spain, the two EU countries most affected so far by the epidemic, the rate is respectively at 9% and around 13%.

The ECDC also cited scientific research saying the virus can survive up to 3 hours in the air, up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 2–3 days on plastic and stainless steel, although with significantly decreased power.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Three covid deaths in Cyprus, new cases drop further to 157 but fewer tests

  Cyprus recorded three covid deaths over the past 24 hours, raising the number to 170,  113 men and 57 women, with an average age...

Thousands protest in Amsterdam against Dutch coronavirus lockdown

  Several thousand today people held an unauthorised protest in Amsterdam against a national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, before being...

Search and rescue crews looking for woman off Larnaca

  The Search and Rescue Coordination Centre in Larnaca received a call around four in the afternoon about a 70 year old woman missing off...

Rapid Test locations on Monday Jan 18

Here are the rapid test locations for Monday January 18 Limassol Apostolos Loukas church, Ayios Athanasios (Ayios Athanasios refugee settlement) 8.30-4.30 Ayios Stylianos church, Linopetra 8.30-4.30 Mesa Yeitonia Cultural Centre...

German FM says COVID curbs should be eased for vaccinated people

  People who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should be allowed to go to restaurants and cinemas earlier than others, a German minister said, contradicting...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...