Control and prevention measures ineludible: China Daily editorial
The number of new COVID-19 cases per day has been rising for nearly six consecutive weeks in Europe and the number of new deaths per day for over seven consecutive weeks, with about 250,000 cases and 3,600 deaths per day, according to official country data compiled by Agence France-Presse.
Yet despite this, there are still demonstrations against government control and prevention measures in various European countries and opposition to the attempts by governments to tighten such measures.
Europe could see another half a million COVID-19 deaths by February, the World Health Organization warned on Thursday. WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge told a news conference that Europe was again the epicenter of the pandemic, with 78 million cases across 53 countries in Europe and several countries in Central Asia.
That hospital admission rates are higher in countries with lower vaccination rates points to the fact that vaccines can effectively prevent people from contracting the virus or help prevent those who do get the virus from developing serious complications.
What China has achieved in its response to the pandemic suggests that control and prevention measures, such as wearing a face mask wherever one goes and adhering to social distancing, as well as the tracing and quarantining of close contacts of people infected, are effective in containing the virus and keeping people safe from the virus.
That China can bring the repeated sporadic waves of local infections under control in a couple of weeks with the cooperation of residents makes it possible for its economy to keep running in a normal manner. This speaks volumes about how important it is for the entire society of a country to realize the fight against the virus is a people's war that calls for the concerted efforts of everyone.
The latest wave of infections in European countries suggests that hopes that the virus might simply run its course and disappear by itself are wishful thinking. And it is also problematic to rely on herd immunity as the number of infected would mean a death toll from the virus that is too horrible to contemplate.
It is obvious that rules for the control and prevention of the pandemic need to be tightened in countries all over the world even if some people are unwilling to sacrifice what they consider to be their personal freedom.
In the same vein, it is also important for all countries to realize that solidarity is essential for the COVID-19 pandemic to be brought under control as early as possible in every corner of the world.