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10 August, 2022
 
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EU: Taking the first steps to freedom and the arguments for relaxation

The de-escalation of the health crisis brings further relaxation of measures in Europe

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The de-escalation of the health crisis brings further relaxation of measures in Europe. In Spain, from Thursday, citizens will be able to walk outdoors without masks. The measure was imposed in mid-December in order to reduce the risk of "Omicron". The situation is more complicated in Germany, where experts disagree on whether they should lift measures. Some states, such as Saxony, Hesse and Schleswig-Holstein, will take the first steps towards normalcy from next week. At the same time, medical associations warn that the lifting of measures is premature and will result in a dramatic increase in cases. Other experts point to a need to create a roadmap to freedom.

In Austria, the legislation on compulsory vaccination of all adult citizens was passed by the Parliament. Police, however, are expected to take on the role of enforcers by mid-March. A record number of cases due to the "Omicron" mutation has been recorded in Russia and Ukraine, a fact that, according to analysts, is expected to further increase tensions between the two.

Masks will no longer be required outdoors in Spain, while Austria has imposed mandatory vaccinations.

Risk of stroke

A scientific study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) brings new light to the effects on a person who has had a coronavirus infection.  The researchers found that the risk of stroke due to COVID-19 infection is higher in the first three days of the disease but gradually decreases.  Another Israeli study showed that vitamin D deficiency plays an important role in the onset and progression of severe disease. Experts recommend maintaining high levels of vitamin D in the body.

Mental health

Finally, MEP's participating in the Mental Health Alliance are calling on all member states to prepare a plan to address the issue of mental health due to the coronavirus pandemic.  As they point out, the bans and restrictions imposed during the last two years have worsened the mental health of Europeans and the EU has yet to come up with a plan to deal with the problem. Czech MEP Tomas Zdetsowski stressed that "16% of Europeans had mental health problems before the crisis. Over the past two years, their percentage has doubled. A new pandemic of mental problems is expected in the near future, which needs to be addressed with clear actions and decisions".

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