Paris under curfew as Europe tightens restrictions

via AFP

France became on Wednesday the latest country in Europe, toughening anti-coronavirus measures imposing a curfew from Saturday on Paris and eight other cities.

"We must act and we must stop the spread of that virus," said President Macron on public TV, announcing that a shutdown will continue for 6 weeks between 9:00 and 6:00 am.

Similarly, other French cities such as Lyon, Marseille's Mediterranean Port, and South-West Toulouse, including about 20 million people, will also be imposing curfews of a total population of approximately sixty-seven million.

Only minutes before the announcement by Macron, his government said that a state of a health emergency would last.

Regions such as Europe that supplicated the first outbreak, with over 1 million coronaviruses and nearly 40 million deaths worldwide, again face tough choices as to how to control a new wave without national lockouts causing economic devastation.

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced tougher action in Germany on collections and wearing of masks.

"I am sure what we do now is crucial to how we get through this pandemic," said the leader.

New infections continued to increase in Germany in Wednesday and pushed 5,000 cases in 24 hours — a level that was not seen since the European economy was locked down in Spring.

"I think we are still able to smooth exponential growth in a situation," said Lothar Wieler, head of Germany's disease management agency. "But we must all make an effort to do that."

The situation has deteriorated

In Spain, bars and restaurants will close throughout the north-east region of Catalonia for the next 15 days, with almost 900,000 cases and over 33,000 deaths tackling one of the highest rates of infection in the European Union.

When new measures, which included alcohol sales restrictions and new mask requirements, also came into force in the Netherlands, people drank and danced for techno pumping before all the bars, restaurants and cannabis coffeeshops closed down.

Prime Minister Micheal Martin of Ireland has announced the closure of non-essential retail outlets, fitness rooms, pools, and recreational facilities at the frontier with the British Province of Northern Ireland.

Infection rates "must be turned down now or we will be in a very difficult place very soon indeed," First Minister Arlene Foster told lawmakers in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Lockdown 'disaster'

In England, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also under growing pressure to impose stricter measures, including a two-week "circuit-breaker" lock-out, to cut spiral rates.

Johnson said that a new UK lockout would be "disaster," but refused to rule it out, as a temporary shutdown was endorsed by the government's advisory body on science.

And in Italy, on Wednesday the government registered 7,332 new cases – the highest count ever of the hard-hit country.

Rome has already imposed new, tougher rules to control the virus' resurgence, including an end to parties, amateur football matches, and snacking at bars at night.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the death toll increased by 794 in the US by 1 day to 216,597, with the crucial election in which the pandemic plays a central role only three weeks before.

In the last 24 hours, an additional 52,160 had been infected, up 0.7%.

Iran announced new travel restrictions on the capital Tehran and other four major cities and new one-day records for Covid-19 fatalities as well as new infections on Wednesday.

And there were 10,000 people who died in neighboring Iraq from the start of the pandemic.

According to the AFP report using official figures, at least 1,089,039 people have died from coronavirus in the world since it emerged in the China city of Wuhan in late 2019. There have been at least 38.3 million cases worldwide.

In online talks, G20 finance ministers and central bankers agreed to extend a debt repayment moratorium for another six months from the poorest countries worldwide, and this spring saw a further extension.

A day after the International Monetary Fund warning that the worldwide GDP will be 4.4 percent by 2020, and that the damage inflicted by the pandemic will be felt for years, there were virtual talks held with current G20 President Saudi Arabia.

Drug setbacks

With the suspension of two clinical trials in the United States, Europe imposed new restrictions, with the hopes of vaccinations or treatment to provide relief.

US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly said Tuesday she had suspended the phase-3 antibody treatment study for an unspecified incident, while the latter had a similar problem with her vaccine candidate within 24 hours after Johnson and Johnson ran.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia stated that Moscow had recorded its first Sputnik jab in its second vaccine called "EpiVacCorona" developed by Siberia's top-secret lab.



Publish : 2020-10-15 06:03:00

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