Hard-hit countries step up virus measures as cases mount

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Brits in France have rushed to book places on ferries and trains home as a mandatory quarantine looms
Brits in France have rushed to ebook locations on ferries and trains residence as a compulsory quarantine looms

Countries among the many hardest hit by the coronavirus unveiled additional management measures Friday to battle rising cases, hitting summer season tourism and features of on a regular basis life across the globe.

The US Department of Homeland Security mentioned it was extending a ban on non-essential journey by means of with Canada and Mexico all through most of September “to slow the spread” of the illness.

Meanwhile Britain added France to its checklist of countries 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.

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

“Personally I think it’s stupid, it’s over the top,” Madrid-based translator Julien Garcia advised AFP concerning the smoking ban.

In Germany, the Robert Koch Institute for illness management added all of Spain besides the Canary Islands to its checklist of areas the place incoming travellers should present a detrimental take a look at for COVID-19 or quarantine for 14 days.

Eurostar trains to London's St Pancras station from Paris were packed on Friday
Eurostar trains to London’s St Pancras station from Paris had been packed on Friday

Austria urged its residents to return from widespread Mediterranean vacation spot Croatia earlier than related guidelines come into impact on Monday, whereas Serbia launched necessary testing for travellers from 4 neighbouring countries.

And hundreds of Albanians queued of their vehicles on the Greek border, hoping to squeeze throughout and return to work earlier than harder entry necessities designed to brake mounting infections come into impact.

Some folks had been ready for 3 days within the 20-kilometre (12 miles), 4,000-car jam, an Albanian police supply mentioned.

Around the world, the variety of confirmed cases rose to nearly 21 million based on an AFP tally from official sources, with almost 755,000 folks lifeless.

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

Cross-Channel scramble

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

Countries with the highest coronavirus death tolls, and their respective death rates
Countries with the best coronavirus loss of life tolls, and their respective loss of life charges

French pupil Antoine, 23, needed to rush again to Bristol, the place he’s at college, reducing brief his summer season holidays.

“I’m a waiter in a small café near college, I can’t afford to spend 14 days in the house,” he mentioned at London’s St Pancras railway station after getting off a Eurostar prepare.

French holidaymakers within the UK might be confronted with robust decisions 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 mentioned it could advise in opposition to all however important journey to Britain, however won’t 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 knowledge Friday revealed the size of the financial influence of the virus and punishing lockdowns, with Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark all reserving hefty hits to GDP in April-June.

The Canary Islands are the only part of Spain not hit with a quarantine order by German authorities
The Canary Islands are the one a part of Spain not hit with a quarantine order by German authorities

“Never before” has the Dutch economic system suffered shrinkage of 8.5 % in a single quarter, the CBS statistics workplace mentioned, 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.

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

One brilliant spot was German vaccine maker CureVac, set to dip its toe into the US markets with an 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 start out human trials.

All eyes on vaccines

Vietnam mentioned it was seeking to purchase a bulk order of Russia’s “Sputnik” vaccine, though Western scientists have raised issues concerning the pace of its growth and steered that researchers is likely to be reducing corners.

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

And Washington mentioned it could distribute any vaccine confirmed to be efficient to all Americans free of charge.

Mexico mentioned 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 yr beneath a manufacturing settlement with drug large AstraZeneca.

Both Mexico and Peru have now surpassed half one million confirmed infections.

New Zealand is battling its personal second wave of infections and prolonged a lockdown of its largest metropolis Auckland by at the least 12 days, giving well being authorities extra time to hint and comprise a variant of the virus beforehand unseen within the nation.

The Pacific island nation’s preliminary response to the pandemic was hailed successful, however a run of 102 days with no reported group transmission ended on Tuesday.

The nation has now detected a cluster of 30 virus cases, and genomic checks indicated the newest infections weren’t the identical pressure of recorded earlier this yr.


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© 2020 AFP

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Hard-hit countries step up virus measures as cases mount (2020, August 14)
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