Coronavirus outbreak 2020–2021 in Europe
December 1, 2021
The 2020-2021 coronavirus outbreak in Europe is part of the ongoing pandemic of covid-19 disease caused by the sars-cov-2 virus. Many people infected with covid-19 suffer from only mild cold symptoms with runny nose and cough, others get a flu-like symptoms with headaches, fatigue, fever, sore throat and muscle aches, in more severe cases with difficulty breathing and pneumonia. The WHO currently estimates (March 13, 2020) that mortality is 1-2 percent of those already infected. In a report published on March 16, 2020, mortality in Stockholm was estimated at 0.6 percent. The outbreak started in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province and has since spread to Europe and around the world. First, on 24 January, France was hit by three cases. A small number of cases were then found in various European countries during the first period of the outbreak until the end of February. Then the number of cases in Italy increased sharply and the infection spread both within Italy and on to other countries in Europe. On 18 March, Europe had 74,760 cases and 3,352 deaths, which meant that by that time China had surpassed the number of deaths. On March 13, the WHO declared Europe the epicenter of the outbreak. Many European countries have been hit hard by the pandemic, and various measures have been taken in different countries both to limit the spread and to mitigate the economic consequences. The European Union was initially criticized for being slow, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen self-critically stated that the magnitude of the pandemic was belatedly realized. Since then, the EU has introduced several measures to address both the pandemic and the economic consequences. At the same time, several countries, mainly Italy and the Netherlands, have had very different views on the role of the EU, which has made it difficult to agree in the Eurozone. On April 23, EU heads of state and government agreed on a recovery package of approximately SEK 22,000 billion. The European Commission has two weeks to produce a detailed calculation of how the recovery package will work.