• Friday, Jan 22, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:00 pm

EU urges countries to keep Covid-19 in check over festive season

  • Published at 11:43 pm December 2nd, 2020
A man wearing a protective mask looks on inside a shop on the day Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza lays out in parliament the government's plan for mass coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
A man wearing a protective mask looks on inside a shop on the day Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza lays out in parliament the government's plan for mass coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations and restrictions over the Christmas period, in Rome, Italy December 2, 2020 Reuters.

The European Commission yesterday urged governments to keep up measures on physical distancing and mask wearing over the Christmas holidays, and require people to self-isolate before and after social gatherings if rules on meetings are temporarily loosened during the festive season

The European Union yesterday urged countries to reinforce their healthcare systems and coordinate restrictions on social gatherings ahead of the Christmas holiday season, to avoid a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

After a surge of cases in October and November, many European countries have reined in infections by imposing stricter lockdowns and social restrictions.

The European Commission yesterday urged governments to keep up measures on physical distancing and mask wearing over the Christmas holidays, and require people to self-isolate before and after social gatherings if rules on meetings are temporarily loosened during the festive season.

This self-quarantine should be for "at least seven" days, the Commission said. Countries should consider banning mass gatherings, while there should be "clear criteria" for small events.

Brussels encouraged countries to use "household bubbles" to limit social contacts if they loosen restrictions during the holidays, and said countries could extend school holidays or impose a period of online learning after the festive season, to act as a buffer against infections.

Hospitals should prepare "surge capacities" in staffing and tap EU programs to secure protective equipment when needed, the Commission said.

It called on countries to expand testing capacities to track local virus outbreaks, and expand public transport capacity, where possible, to avoid overcrowding. Masks should be mandatory on public transport, the Commission said.

Health policy is a national prerogative in the 27-country bloc and the EU Commission can only make recommendations for common measures.

Anti-virus spray

US scientists are working on a nasal spray that will stop infection from the virus. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the biotech firm Regeneron are testing the gene therapy on animals.

England opens up

England exits a month-long lockdown, but most of Britain remains under restrictions as a new regional system for cutting infection rates kicks in.

Fake vaccines warning

Interpol warns that organized crime groups could attempt to steal supplies of vaccines or sell their own fake ones. 

Nearly 1.5 million dead

The virus death toll nudged closer to the 1.5 million mark, with at least 1,482,240 killed by Covid-19, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 8pm yesterday.

The US is the worst-affected country with 270,691 deaths, followed by Brazil with 173,817, India with 138,122, Mexico with 106,765 and the UK with 59,051.

Wear masks indoors

The World Health Organization says people should wear masks indoors if other people are near including in schools and workplaces. But it urges people not to wear them during vigorous physical activity.

Japan's free jabs

Japan will give free vaccinations to all its 126 million population as the nation battles with record numbers of daily cases.

54
Facebook 53
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail