China News Service, March 21. According to Euronet, citing EUN News Agency, as of March 20, the number of new coronary pneumonia cases worldwide increased by 4% in the past week.

But as a new subvariant spread around the world and countries eased restrictions, some countries in Europe, including Italy and France, saw a surge in cases, with the former up 43 percent from the start of the month and the latter up 36 percent.

Data map: Rome, Italy.

Image source: ICphoto

  The reported surge in 2019-nCoV cases is mainly due to the omicron BA.2 subvariant, as well as the lifting of most 2019-nCoV epidemic prevention restrictions and 2019-nCoV vaccination and weakening of immunity to infection.

  In Europe, a new wave of infections caused by the invisible Omicron has begun.

It already dominates the UK, Germany and France, and has played a role in a surge in the Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

BA.2 now accounts for more than half of the new cases in Germany.

  Lawrence Young, professor of molecular oncology at Warwick University, said it was clear that BA.2 was more transmissible than BA.1, combined with the relaxation of mitigation measures and weakened immunity, which contributed to the prevalence of current infections. surge.

  Lawrence Young said that while BA.2 is more transmissible, other factors that may be linked to the increase in cases are the relaxation of restrictions, increased social gatherings, fewer people wearing masks, and reduced immunity to previous infections and vaccinations.

Despite the upward trend in positive tests, hospitalizations and deaths have not increased at the same rate.

  "My main concern is those who are vulnerable, for whom the disease is serious," said James Naismith, professor of structural biology at Oxford University.

  Italian Deputy Health Minister Pierpaolo Sileri said that at least three highly contagious but less severe variants of the new coronavirus, Omicron, are currently circulating in Italy.

The milder Omicron sub-variant has become dominant.

  Nino Cartabellotta, president of Italy's Gimbe Foundation, warned that a contrarian increase in daily new infections could reach 120,000 to 150,000 a day by the end of March.

  According to the latest rapid survey of the prevalence and distribution of multiple variants of the new coronavirus conducted by the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), the Italian Omicron variant is still the most dominant variant, with a prevalence rate of about 99.86%.

The prevalence of Omicron BA.2 subvariant accounts for about 44.07%.

  Research shows that BA.2 can be reinfected soon after people recover from the more common Omicron lineage, although this is rare and occurs mostly in young, unvaccinated individuals with mild disease, not lead to hospitalization or death.

  A rise in coronavirus cases is currently being observed in some European countries, with some experts in the UK attributing the surge in coronavirus cases to BA.2, while the number of cases in Germany remains high and France, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands are also facing new Cases surged.

  On the 20th, the Italian Ministry of Civil Protection reported 60,415 new confirmed cases of new crowns and 93 deaths.

As of 18:00 on the 20th, there were 13,861,743 confirmed cases nationwide, 157,785 deaths, and 12,531,134 cured cases.

(Huang Xin)