Covid-19 Second Wave

Regional News • Europe • France
Macron orders France into second national Covid-19 lockdown
French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron Credit: Twitter Reproduction

"Hospitals won’t manage if we don’t take drastic measures,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in a prime-time televised address Wednesday, when he announced new lockdown measures for France.

Macron said that under the new measures, starting on Friday, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons, that EU borders would still be open. Still, travel between regions in the country is banned.

The French government had been loath to impose a new lockdown that will pummel the economy even harder, and business chiefs have warned a total shutdown will force another wave of layoffs and bankruptcies.

Governments across Europe have been under fire for lack of coordination and for failing to use a lull in cases over the summer to bolster defences, leaving hospitals unprepared and forcing people on to packed public transport to get to work.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany decides on extended restrictions from Monday on due to rising Covid-19 numbers
Germany decides on extended restrictions from Monday on due to rising Covid-19 numbers
Credit: Screenshot live stream Bundespressekonferenz

The German federal and state governments agreed on extended restrictions following a rise in Covid-19 cases. The restrictions will take effect in all of Germany from next Monday on and last for four weeks.

Only members of two households - a maximum of ten people - will be allowed to meet in public. "Groups of people celebrating in public places, homes and private institutions are unacceptable in view of the seriousness of the situation in our country", the decision states. Schools and shops will remain open, restaurants and other activities for personal entertainment or leisure will be forced to close.

Regional News • Europe
Poland: 18,820 new Coronavirus cases, daily record
Poland: 18,820 new Coronavirus cases, daily record
Credit: Silar, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Poland reported 18,820 new Coronavirus cases. This is the country's highest daily case count. 236 people died in the past 24 hours. 13,931 hospital beds are occupied by Coronavirus patients and 1,150 ventilators are in use.

Regional News • Europe • France
PM Castex: French hospitals at capacity by Nov 11th
André Chassaigne
André Chassaigne Credit: André Chassaigne

The ICU of French hospitals will be at capacity levels with Coronavirus patients by November 11th, assuming the current surge in cases can't be contained.

Lawmaker André Chassaigne told reporters: "He [PM Jean Castex] told us that on 11 November, our hospitals will be at a saturation level equivalent to that of the first wave, so a level of extreme saturation. So the situation is particularly serious. If we can’t flatten the curve, in the next 15 days, our hospitals won’t be able to treat patients."

No measures were discussed.

Regional News • Europe
Italy: Protests against Coronavirus measures

Following new Coronavirus restrictions, protests broke out across Italy on Monday. Clashes involving petrol bombs happened in both Milan and Turin. In Naples, protestors called for the resignation of its governor. Italy has imposed a curfew in many Italian regions and has ordered the closure of eateries, gyms and cinemas after 6pm.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austrian chancellor considers second lockdown as a measure of last resort
Austrian chancellor considers second lockdown as a measure of last resort
Credit: Bundesministerium für Finanzen, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz has stated that he considered a second lockdown as a measure of last resort to contain the further spread of Covid-19 and prevent hospitals reaching capacity.

"We have a massively increasing, exponential growth. It is an extreme challenge. The situation is very, very serious, even for those who still refuse to believe it," so Kurz.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Merkel warns that Germany is "on the verge of losing control of virus"
Merkel warns that Germany is "on the verge of losing control of virus"
Credit: FinnishGovernment, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

German chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Germany is "on the verge of losing control of its fight against the virus", telling her party in an internal meeting that "the situation is threatening" and that the country has "very, very difficult months ahead."

Germany has seen a steady increase of Covid-19 cases of the past weeks, reporting over 14,000 cases on October 24, the country's highest daily case count.

Regional News • Europe
Covid-19: Spanish government approves new state of alarm for the whole country
Council of Ministers of Spain
Council of Ministers of Spain

The Spanish government decreed a new state of alarm and announced a night-time curfew for the entire territory of the European nation from 11 pm to 6 am, as authorities grapple with the second wave of Covid-19. The country returns to the state of alarm seven months after the Council of Ministers on March 14 decreed it to contain the first wave of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said he would ask the Spanish parliament to keep the emergency mechanism in place for six months, until May 9.

Regional News • Europe
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Credit: unsplash.com/Ewien van Bergeijk - Kwant

Covid-19 cases have doubled in Europe over the past ten days, rising from 100,000 to 200,000. Multiple countries, including Austria, Germany, Italy and France, have reported daily records in the past week.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spain Coronavirus cases surpass 1 million
Spain Coronavirus cases surpass 1 million
Credit: Banc de Sang i Teixits / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Spain is the first western European country to surpass 1 million Coronavirus cases. It has recorded 1,005,295 infections since the first case was confirmed on January 31st.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria reports 2,435 Covid-19 cases, highest daily record
Newly identified cases of confirmed SARS-CoV2 infection per day of diagnosis in Austria.
Newly identified cases of confirmed SARS-CoV2 infection per day of diagnosis in Austria. Credit: AGES Dashboard

Austria has recorded new 2,435 Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours on Thursday, its highest daily record since the start of the pandemic. The country has seen a steady increase in cases since September,

Regional News • Europe • Ireland
Ireland announces six-week period of movement restrictions due to Covid-19 numbers
Ireland announces six-week period of movement restrictions due to Covid-19 numbers
Credit: unsplash.com / K. Mitch Hodge

The Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin has announced that nationwide level 5 restrictions will be imposed from Wednesday night on and last until the beginning of December. This means that all residents must limit their movements to a five-kilometer radius of their homes and can't visit the homes of others.

In addition, most retail shops must close while a few services that are deemed essential can stay open.

Regional News • Europe • France
France reports more than 20,000 Covid-19 infections in a day
Paris during the Covid-19 lockdown
Paris during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

After a lower number on Monday, France again reported more than 20,000 new Covid-19 cases in a day: 20,468. The total number of cases is now at 930,745 and its expected to break the 1 million mark before Saturday.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Wales announces "short, sharp" lockdown to slow down spread of Covid-19
Wales announces "short, sharp" lockdown to slow down spread of Covid-19
Credit: unsplash.com / Callum Blacoe

In order to slow the accelerating spread of Covid-19, Wales will go into a national lockdown from Friday the 23rd of October to Monday the 9th of November.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has stated that the goal is to "slow down the virus and buy us more time". People will need to stay home during the lockdown, work from home if possible and all non-food related retail will be shut down as well as hotels and hairdressers.

Health
US reports 70,000 new Covid-19 cases in one day, highest single-day increase since July

According to the New York Times data, the United States have recorded over 70,450 new Covid-19 cases in one single day, the highest single-day increase since July 24. Among the states that set a single-day case record are Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.

Regional News • Europe
Two foreign ministers test positive for Covid-19 after EU meeting in Luxembourg
Sophie Wilmes post on Twitter announcing the test result
Sophie Wilmes post on Twitter announcing the test result Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Alexander Schallenberg and Sophie Wilmes, foreign ministers of Austria and Belgium, have tested positive for coronavirus after attending a meeting in Luxembourg earlier this week. Both announced their test results, separately, on Saturday.

Wilmes announced her positive test in a post on Twitter: "My COVID test result is positive. Contamination probably occurred within my family circle given the precautions taken outside my home."

A spokeswoman for Austria’s Foreign Ministry stated: "It is suspected that Schallenberg might have been infected at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Monday."

Regional News • Europe
Italy registers a record of 10,925 new daily Covid-19 cases
Rome during the Covid-19 lockdown
Rome during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: Rotolandoversosud (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The health ministry of Italy announced Saturday the country had 10,925 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours. There were also 47 coronavirus-related deaths during the same period.

Regional News • Europe
Belgium bars and restaurants to be closed for a month
Alexander De Croo (right)
Alexander De Croo (right) Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Belgian federal government announced Friday that bars and restaurants would have to close for a month, and there will be a curfew from midnight to 5 am. The measures are a response to the surging second wave of Covid-19 and will be in effect from October 19.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said, during a news conference: "The coming weeks will be very difficult, but we must take those measures to avoid the worse."

Belgium has one of the highest per capita Covid-19 fatality rates in the world with 10,283 deaths.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Berlin court overturn 11 pm Covid-19 curfew for restaurants and bars in the city
Berlin court overturn 11 pm Covid-19 curfew for restaurants and bars in the city
Credit: Berlin IckLiebeDir (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A Berlin court suspended the 11 pm curfew on bars and restaurants that was in effect for a week. The court stated there was no evidence that establishments sticking to the existing rules on mask-wearing and social distancing contributed to an increase in the infection rates.

The court ruling was in response to a legal action brought by restaurant owners who contested the curfew, but not a ban on the sale of alcohol after 11 pm.

Health
Austria reports 1,552 new Covid-19 cases, highest daily record since start of pandemic

Austria has recorded 1,552 Covid-19 cases within a 24-hour period on Thursday – the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic in March.