Lockdowns: here we go again

In view of the rapid spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant, the Netherlands has once again gone into lockdown. Denmark has also introduced wide-ranging lockdown measures. But although at 60 percent the mutant is already the dominant variant in Britain, Prime Minister Johnson wants to avoid a lockdown for the time being. What are the alternatives?

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De Telegraaf (NL) /

The Netherlands is lagging behind once more

De Telegraaf criticises that emergency measures have repeatedly been taken too late:

“This course is unsustainable. ... The lives of at least 17 million Dutch people are being held hostage because our healthcare system is already overstretched with not even 2,400 Covid patients in the hospitals. So now we really have to get serious about increasing the number of intensive care beds or building Covid hospitals. Break through the red tape and put an end to the time-consuming procedures! It's an embarrassment that we are always the last to vaccinate and have probably the fewest intensive care beds per 100,000 inhabitants in Western Europe.”

Lapin Kansa (FI) /

Border closures of little help

Now we've gone back to each state doing its own thing, Lapin Kansa laments:

“There will be no coordinated coronavirus policy, as demanded by the EU Commission, because the member states are trying to protect their own interests. They are seeking not only to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, but also to score political points. ... Closing borders against the disease has proven to be a relatively ineffective measure which doesn't justify wasting the limited resources available for disease control. These resources should be used where they are most urgently needed, namely for vaccinations. Vaccines no longer necessarily provide full protection against the disease, but they are still the best way to avoid severe illness.”

Népszava (HU) /

Hungary's government more murderous than Britain's

Not only London is delaying a lockdown, Népszava reminds readers:

“The UK reportes 89,000 new infections and 125 deaths on Saturday, and the press is unanimous in calling the situation a disaster. Despite this, Boris Johnson ruled out a lockdown on Friday. ... Because the political price would be too high. It's cheaper to let people die. In Hungary, whose population is one-seventh of the UK's, the average daily coronavirus death toll last week was 157, so when you crunch the numbers our figures are 8.5 times worse than those in Britain, where an irresponsible prime minister is about to fail.”