Mr Lazarus has predicted that the European Union will be grappling with the coronavirus pandemic for the foreseeable future amid an upsurge in new virus cases. EU leaders are faced with the prospect of a third wave of coronavirus amid a failure to ramp up vaccinations. The health expert insisted that lockdown restrictions currently enforce across the region would not be over by summer despite protests spring up in many countries over strict measures.
Mr Lazarus of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health told Euronews: “We certainly need to realise and prepare for the fact that it is not going to be over by summer as we thought a year ago or maybe half a year ago.
“And it’s probably not going to be over by the end of the year.
“At the heart of it is vaccinating faster, we need to vaccinate faster we need to manufacturer the vaccines faster and we need to move beyond the rows between the EU and UK.
“Where we try and secure vaccines from another country, we all need to be working together to fight the virus.”
His remarks came in the midst of a fierce dispute between Brussels and the UK Government regarding the supply of AstraZeneca vaccine
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has threatened an export block on the Anglo-Swedish drug unless batches were carried to be shipped to meet Europe’s needs.
The bloc is coming under increasing pressure to speed up the inoculations of EU citizens as the number of cases continues to tick up ahead of a third wave.
Mr Lazarus said: “We are seeing increases in cases and that is a very dangerous situation with regards to the spread of variants that are more contagious, more virulent.”
“At some point you’re really done with it all”
Another added “I’d rather we open and just live, it’s boring”
Meanwhile in the UK many are hopeful lockdown measures will fully ease this year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out a number of dates which could see sectors of society reopen over the coming months, however, he stressed the easing of measures will be based on “data, not dates”.