Politics

5 Countries Show What It’s Actually Like To ‘Live With Covid’

Boris Johnson has vowed promised not to impose another lockdown over the winter as long as the NHS is not overwhelmed.

He has instead championed the vaccine rollout as a way to prevent a spike in infections – but there are some concerns the prime minister’s winter plan does not go far enough to prevent future Covid waves.

As UK braces itself for the colder months, which other countries in the world no longer see Covid as a major health threat?

1. Denmark

Copenhagen lifted all remaining restrictions on September 10. Its government claimed Covid was no longer “an illness which is a critical threat to society”.

The Danish public do not need to show a ‘Covid passport’ and do not need to use public transport with a face mask. They can meet in large numbers, too.

The transmission rate is at 0.7, suggesting the infection rate has declined.

However, health minister Magnus Heunicke said: “Even though we are in a good place now, we are not out of the epidemic. And the government will not hesitate to act quickly if the pandemic again threatens important functions in our society.”

2. Chile

Chile has reported almost 87% of its eligible population are fully vaccinated – earlier this month, it also approved the use of the Chinese vaccine, Sinovac, for those aged six years old and over.

The Delta variant has affected the nation but the government will be opening up its international tourism industry from October 1 in time for the summer season.

A government official said: “It’s important to point out that this is the first step, and we will be able to keep moving forward as long as we maintain the right health conditions.”

Queues for the Pfizer vaccine in Chile

3. Singapore

The country initially presented a zero-Covid strategy, but Singapore decided to live with Covid back in June by trying to control outbreaks through vaccinations and keeping an eye on hospitalisations.

The country’s top officials claimed: “The bad news is that Covid may never go away. The good news is that it is possible to live normally with it in our midst.”

Although the country eased restrictions in August, a sharp rise in Delta variant cases means the planned reopening is on pause for now and focusing on contact tracing.

Although 81% of its citizens are fully vaccinated, infections have spiked in September.

Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine being distributed in Pretoria, South Africa

Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine being distributed in Pretoria, South Africa

4. South Africa

Infections have slowed in South Africa, meaning the curfew has been shorted from 11pm until 4am with gatherings increased to 500 people outside.

At one stage in the pandemic, the country even banned all gatherings except funerals.

Now, with enough vaccinations within the population, South Africa is preparing to face a potential third wave of infections head-on.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “The third wave is not yet over, and it is only through out actions individually and collectively that we will be able to reduce the number of new infections.”

5. Thailand

The Thai population has been slow to accept Covid vaccinations, but the government is still going to be opening up in October to revive its tourism industry for the fully-vaccinated foreign visitors.

The country had low infection rates last year following its stringent containment rules, but in 2021 infections have risen.

Only 18% of the country is fully vaccinated and 21% have received one dose.


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