COVID-19: the situation continues to deteriorate in Europe

Indicators of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to deteriorate in Europe, especially in France where Paris could spend Monday on high alert and in Spain where the authorities have decided to impose a closure on Madrid.

The French capital and its inner suburbs could face further restrictions if the progression of the epidemic is confirmed, French Minister of Health Olivier Véran said Thursday.

Such a classification “will suppose that the inhabitants of Paris and the inner suburbs temporarily reduce their social interactions in a drastic way, in any case more important than what they already do: more family celebrations, more parties, total closure of bars, ”he said.

The minister also noted a “deterioration” of the situation in “five metropolises, Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Étienne”, where “the development of the last few days remains very worrying”.

The 32,000 dead mark was exceeded Thursday in France.

“If the measures (of restrictions already taken) do not produce enough effect, we may be led to place them in the maximum alert zone next week,” the minister warned.

Buckling by decree

For Madrid, it has already been done. A decree from the Spanish Ministry of Health published on Thursday extends to the entire capital the measures already in force for a week in areas of the region most affected by the virus and prohibits residents of Madrid from entering or leaving the city except in particular to go to work, to the doctor or to take the children to school.

It is therefore not a question of strict containment as Spain may have experienced in the spring.

The announcement, which comes after a two-week standoff between the left-wing central government and the right-wing Madrid regional executive, was immediately rejected by the latter.

But despite the refusal of Madrid and other regions, these measures are mandatory within 48 hours according to the decree.

In Great Britain, new restrictions have been decreed in Liverpool: in this region of 1.5 million inhabitants, meetings between different households will be prohibited indoors. It is recommended that you do not attend sporting events, visit nursing homes or undertake non-essential travel.

Such restrictions had already entered into force in parts of north-eastern England on Wednesday. They are in addition to those already valid for the whole country, which stipulate that pubs, restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m. and that meetings are limited to six people, indoors and outdoors.

Extended list

As a consequence of the deterioration of the indicators, Germany has extended its list of regions at risk to neighboring Belgium, Iceland and regions in Europe, now covering almost all of France.

Belgium, one of the European countries most bereaved by the coronavirus pandemic, crossed the 10,000 dead mark on Wednesday, the same day authorities presented their mobile contact tracing application.

Since Monday, bars and cafes in Brussels have closed their doors at 11 p.m., as part of new restrictive measures in the face of the resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

The pandemic has killed at least 1,018,634 people worldwide, according to an AFP report. More than 34 million cases of infection have been diagnosed.

The United States is the most affected country, both in terms of deaths (206,959) and cases (7,233,946). Brazil (143,952 dead), India (98,678), Mexico (77,646) and the United Kingdom (42,143) follow.

However, in some countries the time has come for relaxation.

All African travelers can thus travel to South Africa again, as well as those coming from countries deemed to be at “low or medium” risk in terms of infections with the new coronavirus.

In Havana, the nighttime curfew in effect for a month has been lifted and the activity will be able to be relaunched, without receiving foreign tourists for the moment.

In the United States, talks resumed Wednesday in Washington between Democrats and Republicans, after months of invective, on a new economic aid plan intended to provide relief to households and businesses affected by the pandemic.

In the world of sport, UEFA authorized the immediate return of the public to European football competitions, including the Champions League, within a limit of 30% of seats, without however authorizing the movement of visiting supporters.

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