World Ireland is first EU country to return to coronavirus lockdown
As virus surges anew, Milan hospitals under pressure again
MILAN (AP) — Coronavirus infections are surging anew in the northern Italian region where the pandemic first took hold in Europe, putting pressure again on hospitals and health care workers. At Milan’s San Paolo hospital, a ward dedicated to coronavirus patients and outfitted with breathing machines reopened this weekend, a sign that the city and the surrounding area is entering a new emergency phase of the pandemic. For the medical personnelAt Milan’s San Paolo hospital, a ward dedicated to coronavirus patients and outfitted with breathing machines reopened this weekend, a sign that the city and the surrounding area is entering a new emergency phase of the pandemic.
Ireland will be the first to return to lockdown, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said Monday, issuing a nationwide "stay at home" order but insisting schools will stay open. Measures coming into effect for six weeks from midnight on Wednesday will see all non-essential retail businesses close and limited to takeaway or delivery service only.
"Everyone in the country is being asked to stay at home," Martin said in a televised national address.
COVID 2nd wave drives more European countries back into lockdown
Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands are all trying to break the cycle of spiraling infections with short, sharp lockdowns, and others may follow.Israel became the first country globally to reimpose a nationwide lockdown to stem COVID-19 infections when it ordered much of the economy and all schools to close on September 18. The government has now extended the restrictions to last a full month, until October 18. Other countries are quickly following suit.
Only essential workers will be "permitted to travel to work," he said, and citizens will be allowed out to exercise only within three miles of their residence.
The government warned in a statement that "there will be a penalty" for violating the five-kilometer restriction and that public transport will operate at 25 per cent capacity to serve essential workers only.
Martin said schools and childcare facilities are to remain open "because we cannot and will not allow our children and young people's futures to be another victim of this disease."
A ban on visits between different households and on indoor events will also be extended, although two households will be allowed to mix at outdoor venues such as parks.
U.S. Cases Over 50,000 Again; Italy Reports Record: Virus Update
The U.S. added 57,164 new virus cases, the fifth consecutive day of infections over 50,000. Italy’s cases swelled to a daily record though the prime minister held off pressure to impose radical restrictions. Millions across Europe faced tighter restrictions on movement as London and Paris enforced new curbs and Switzerland made masks mandatory in many public venues. Slovakia plans to test the entire nation.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said talks with the White House need to make progress within days if President Donald Trump wants to see another stimulus bill before the U.S. election. Global cases neared 40 million.
A "social bubble" program will also allow those living alone, at risk of social isolation or mental health issues, to mingle with one other household.
And unlike under the previous shutdown order issued in March, elite and professional level sports will be permitted behind closed doors across Ireland -- which has suffered 1,852 deaths from the coronavirus.
Martin said the Republic's present restrictions were "probably Europe's strictest regime" but that "further action is now required."
"If we pull together over the next six weeks, we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way," he said.
Lobby group Retail Ireland predicted "tens of thousands of retail workers will be out of work" in the interim.
"It is crucial that these measures work and we are in a place to reopen retail in advance of Christmas," warned director Arnold Dillon.
"We simply cannot contemplate serious rolling restrictions into the future."
Argentina hits 1 million cases as virus slams Latin America
USHUAIA, Argentina (AP) — At the edge of Argentina in a city known as “The End of the World,” many thought they might be spared from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. Sitting far from the South American nation’s bustling capital, health workers in Ushuaia were initially able to contain a small outbreak among foreigners hoping to catch boats to the Antarctic at the start of the crisis. But as Argentina passed 1 million virus cases Monday, it is now smaller cities like Ushuaia that are seeing some of the most notable upticks. Doctors have had to quadruple the number of beds for COVID-19 patients over the last month.
Ireland has generally taken a cautious stance in fighting the fight against coronavirus.
There are currently no "green list" countries on the nation's register of safe travel destinations and the government enacted pub closures dubbed "Europe's longest."
But Dublin's decision to return the nation to lockdown comes two weeks after the government rejected a similar recommendation from public health chiefs.
At the time, deputy prime minister Leo Varadkar said the advice to take the country to a four week lockdown "hadn't been thought through."
The coalition government's admission that a longer six week lockdown is now necessary could leave it vulnerable to accusations it stalled the public health response to the surging virus.
Daily deaths from the coronavirus in Ireland peaked at 77 in April and in recent weeks have consistently remained in the single digits, with none registered Monday.
However like many other nations the Republic is witnessing a resurgence in confirmed infections of the virus, with 1,031 new cases registered on Monday.
Europe's COVID-19 outbreak is worsening from disaster to catastrophe, as the US scrambles to contain its third wave .
France and Germany announced new lockdowns on Wednesday, with Italy, Spain, and the UK introducing new measures in the past two weeks.The initial outbreak that hit Western Europe in March and April had subsided by the summer, but as autumn arrived, so has a second wave of infections.