European nations step up virus measures as cases mount

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Eurostar trains from Paris to London may soon be filled with Britons scrambling to return from holiday
Eurostar trains from Paris to London might quickly be full of Britons scrambling to return from vacation

European nations among the many hardest hit by the coronavirus unveiled additional management strikes Friday to battle rising cases, hitting summer season tourism and features of on a regular basis life on the continent.

Britain added France to its record of nations hit with a compulsory two-week quarantine for returning holidaymakers from Saturday, as Paris confronts a resurgent second wave of infections.

Confirmed cases in France reached ranges not seen since May on Wednesday and Thursday, at over 2,500 new cases per day.

“The indicators are bad, the signals are worrying and the situation is deteriorating… The fate of the epidemic is in our hands,” the nation’s nationwide well being company chief Jerome Salomon advised France Inter radio, including that the capital Paris and the Mediterranean port metropolis of Marseille have been particularly in danger.

But he highlighted that by “mobilising, respecting infection control measures, accepting mass testing,” some areas of France had stamped out new virus clusters.

Neighbouring Spain stated it could shut all discos and ban smoking on the street the place individuals are unable to remain at a secure distance, after the nation reported virtually 3,000 cases in 24 hours on Thursday.

And Austria added common Mediterranean vacation spot Croatia to its record of at-risk nations, urging residents to return residence forward of necessary assessments or quarantine for returnees beginning Monday.

COVID-19: Total deaths vs deaths per million
Graphic nations with the best coronavirus dying tolls, and their respective dying charges.

Around the world, the variety of confirmed cases rose to virtually 21 million in accordance with an AFP tally from official sources at 1100 GMT, with virtually 755,000 folks lifeless.

The United States has suffered probably the most deaths at 167,253, adopted by Brazil with 105,463, Mexico 55,293, India with 48,040 and Britain with 41,347.

Cross-Channel scramble

France and the Netherlands have now joined Spain and a number of other different European nations on Britain’s quarantine record, having at first been granted exemptions.

Briton Paul Trower advised AFP he determined to chop quick his go to to France after receiving a number of messages from associates warning him of the quarantine measures.

“We looked and tried to book a ferry, cancelled our holidays and come home to avoid it because my wife works and I look after my granddaughter,” he stated.

“It was already a very bad season and now it’s going to be even worse,” stated Christophe Mathieu, the chief govt of Brittany Ferries which operates companies between Britain, Ireland, France and Spain.

CureVac's potential vaccine is undergoing testing in Germany
CureVac’s potential vaccine is present process testing in Germany

French holidaymakers within the UK might be confronted with powerful selections of their very own, as Paris swiftly introduced a “reciprocal measure”, though it was unclear when that is likely to be imposed.

The Netherlands additionally stated it could advise towards all however important journey to Britain, however is not going to impose a quarantine of its personal for incoming travellers.

With greater than 41,000 deaths attributable to COVID-19, Britain is the worst-hit nation in Europe and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticised over his dealing with of the disaster.

Economic blows

A slew of information Friday revealed the size of the financial affect of the virus and punishing lockdowns, with Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark all reserving hefty hits to GDP in April-June.

“Never before” has the Dutch economic system suffered shrinkage of 8.5 p.c in a single quarter, the CBS statistics workplace stated, whereas Denmark and Hungary each reported their worst slumps because the early 1990s.

Central European heavyweight Poland entered its first recession because the finish of the communist period.

Hundreds of thousands of Britons in France were deciding whether or not to hurry home
Hundreds of 1000’s of Britons in France have been deciding whether or not or to not hurry residence

The continent’s inventory markets groaned underneath pressure on the journey and tourism sectors from the brand new quarantines and the US failure to agree a brand new spherical of financial assist for residents.

One shiny spot was German vaccine maker CureVac, set to dip its toe into the US markets with an preliminary public providing elevating greater than $200 million.

The firm is seen as one of many main contenders within the race to develop to a COVID-19 vaccine and obtained permission in June to begin human trials.

Meanwhile Vietnam stated it was trying to purchase a bulk order of Russia’s “Sputnik” vaccine, though Western scientists raised considerations in regards to the pace of its improvement and urged that researchers is likely to be slicing corners.

And Washington stated it could distribute any vaccine confirmed to be efficient to all Americans without spending a dime.

Mexico stated it and Argentina intention to have a vaccine obtainable for Latin America—now the area with the worst virus toll and most cases—early subsequent 12 months underneath a manufacturing settlement with medication big AstraZeneca.

Normally busy Auckland arteries were at a standstill
Normally busy Auckland arteries have been at a standstill

New pressure in New Zealand

New Zealand is battling its personal second wave of infections and prolonged a lockdown of its largest metropolis Auckland by no less than 12 days, giving well being authorities extra time to hint and include a variant of the virus beforehand unseen within the nation.

The Pacific island nation’s preliminary response to the pandemic was hailed a hit, however a run of 102 days with no reported neighborhood transmission was delivered to an finish on Tuesday.

The nation has now detected a cluster of 30 virus cases, and genomic assessments indicated the most recent infections weren’t the identical pressure of coronavirus recorded earlier this 12 months.

“This suggests it’s not a case of the virus being dormant, or of burning embers in our community, it appears to be new to New Zealand,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated, including assessments have been unable to hyperlink the outbreak to any cases amongst quarantined travellers from abroad.

In Latin America, each Mexico and Peru surpassed half one million confirmed infections.

Infections in Peru have additionally risen sharply since a nationwide lockdown was lifted on July 1, prompting the federal government to reinstate a Sunday curfew, ban social gatherings and implement necessary lockdown in additional provinces.


Follow the latest news on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak


© 2020 AFP

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European nations step up virus measures as cases mount (2020, August 14)
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