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For weeks, Spain and Italy were epicentres of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their health defences had an important gap: large staffing shortages and low ratios of nurses to doctors. At the same time, nurses had higher infection rates than the general population, mainly because of the lack of personal protective equipment.
We have gathered data on excess deaths from 500 European regions to better understand the spread of the virus. Some regions report up to three times as many deaths as usual since March, but a large part of Europe has been able to live through the first wave of the pandemic without any significant excess death.
You can explore the pedestrian occupation, road traffic and flights of European capitals in this data visualization, which shows the current percentage of occupation compared to the normal levels before the coronavirus lockdown.
The clash between the EU and AstraZeneca over delayed vaccines has revealed a stack of questionable contracts signed with Big Pharma. Problems include manufacturers’ ambiguous delivery dates, but lawyers investigating the deals show that companies have a clear advantage over the EU.
Gender inequality in the labour market has been an issue for years, and it has only gotten worse with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, to the point that it is rolling back on the achievements made in the last 30 years.
The prison population fell in almost all European countries last year. Many detainees were released to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and meanwhile the crime rate also declined. The largest drop in prison numbers was in Turkey. However, in certain countries the incarcerated population increased.
With COVID-19 in the spotlight, refugees and undocumented migrants disappeared from public attention. Precisely what swept these communities away from the agenda, however, disproportionately affected them.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a cruel reminder that ecosystem vitality and human health are closely linked. For Eloi Laurent, "the best economic policy is a good health policy and the best health policy is a good environmental policy. We see that there is no trade-off between economy and environment."
Before the implementation of additional allocations such as the recovery fund, one of the first instruments put in place by the EU was the possibility for states to redirect their own European funds to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. Let's see how this process played out, in Italy and in other countries.