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The line at a rapid swab testing site in Rome, Italy A rapid swab testing site in Rome, Italy, Dec. 30, 2021 (AP photo by Andrew Medichini).

Omicron Is Causing a Rethink in Europe’s Pandemic Strategy

Dave Keating Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022

The omicron variant continues to run rampant in Europe, leading the World Health Organization, or WHO, to warn that half of Europeans will have been infected by the new coronavirus variant by the end of next month. But omicron’s unique combination of extreme contagiousness and comparatively mild symptoms is prompting a rethink of the policy measures that governments have adopted to contain the pandemic since its onset.

On Monday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gave a radio interview saying that Europe’s coronavirus strategy needs to shift from a focus on tracing, quarantining and social distancing to an approach based on vaccination and self-protection. “I believe we need to evaluate the evolution of COVID toward an endemic status, from a pandemic which is what we have had until now,” he said. ...

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