Posodobitev FVE COVID 35: 14. oktober 2020

14. 10. 2020
Posodobitev FVE COVID 35: 14. oktober 2020

Objavljamo novice FVE COVID v izvirniku

Dear Colleagues, 
Countries across Europe are desperately trying to hold the fast-growing wave of new virus cases at bay, trying to employ targeted closures, regional restrictions, stricter social distancing rules and masks to avoid a second large-scale lockdown. Nevertheless, the Netherlands just went in partial lockdown as did the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  While at the beginning of the second wave, hospital admissions kept low, now they are increasing in most countries at a worrying speed. We’re up for a difficult winter, but we are much better prepared than in March. 
Hereby some of the latest news: 

  • News from Europe: 
    • The European Union on Tuesday adopted new guidelines aimed at coordinating members’ varying travel measures. They will now use a single map with a colour-coded system to show the scale of outbreaks: green (low risk), orange (medium risk) and red (high risk). Other measures include unifying how quarantines and testing are done, and ensuring ample warning when national travel advisories are about to change to ensure that travellers aren’t left stranded. However, the measures are not mandatory, and individual member states reserve the right to take unilateral action, including stepping up restrictions or changing the risk category for regions based on their own assessments. See also factsheet attached. 
    • The European Council will meet on 15-16 October in the Brussels Council building, despite Brussels being dark red. But guess country leaders can use something safer as public transport. To prepare, the general affairs council already met Monday. Many important issues are on the agenda, a discussion with the European Parliament on the EU 7-year budget, the work towards a Brexit deal and how to move towards climate neutrality by 2050 with a potential in-between target of reduction by 55% by 2030. 
  • The circulation of infections in mink farms continue. Currently, 64 of the 120 mink farms in the Netherlands and 76 of the 1136 mink farms in Denmark has been found infected. Denmark, who until recently had used an isolation strategy for infected mink farms, now also moved towards a culling strategy.  This led to mink breeders being dissatisfied with the authorities' handling of the killing of their mink that they are now suing the state. The purpose is to ensure better financial compensation and a fair process for the killing of the minks. Despite enormous research, both in the Dutch and Danish outbreaks much around how the animals got infected remains unclear. Other countries who have seen outbreaks in mink farms are Spain and USA.

  • Telemedicine: in the UK the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) extended temporary remote prescribing to 1 November 2020 with additional safeguards. Remote prescribing should only be carried out by veterinary surgeons who can provide [an out-of-hours] follow-up service involving physical examination. The follow-up service can be provided personally by the veterinary surgeon or practice, or by written agreement with a veterinary services provider which is local to the client. The FVE draft position on telemedicine will be for a vote at our next GA on 6 November.

  • With infection rates rising, more outbreaks are again seen in slaughterhouses. Some large-scale pig slaughterhouses in North-Germany were ordered to close after rising Covid infections among workers. To deal with capacity shortage and to avoid the need to cull pigs, solutions are being negotiated such as by allowing other slaughterhouses to work longer hours or to increase capacity in alternative slaughterhouses.  It would be good for all countries to inventories slaughterhouse capacity to see if some have to close, where extra capacity can be retrieved.

  • On 29th October 2020, 3-5 pm CET, the World Veterinary Association (WVA) will organise a free WVA Virtual Seminar on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Veterinary Profession. FVE will join the panel discussions. You can see the program and register here: WVA VIRTUAL SEMINAR | THE IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON THE VETERINARY PROFESSION – ONGOING ASSESSMENT

  • WHO made a nice update on the status of the different COVID vaccines under development. Currently, there are 42 COVID-19 candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation of which 10 in Phase III trials. All top candidate vaccines are for intra-muscular injection and all but two need a two-dose schedule. See the presentation attached.

  • With COVID now very present under the younger generation, universities are struggling on how to best protect its staff and students, e.g. by starting to teach partly or fully online. As we reported in the last COVID mail Liège University in Belgium did something additional, they launched a massive self-screening campaign aiming for all its staff and students. The first results are in:  of the 4,477 samples analysed, 69 (4 staff members and 65 students) were positive, a rate of 1.54%. So very low.  

  • EPI-WIN COVID Update 37_07 October 2020 - Vaccine Development

  • factsheet_-_coronavirus_-a_coordinated_approach_to_measures_restricting_free_movement_in_the_eu

Wishing you all well,


Ulrike Tewes

Office Manager FVE