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World Europe's COVID-19 outbreak is worsening from disaster to catastrophe, as the US scrambles to contain its third wave

17:30  29 october  2020
17:30  29 october  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

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Angela Merkel standing in front of a crowd: French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and US President Donald Trump at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2017. JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images © JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and US President Donald Trump at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2017. JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images
  • Europe's COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly resurging, prompting a flurry of new lockdowns like those seen in the spring.
  • In the last ten days, France, Italy, Germany, Britain, and Sweden have reported new records for daily infections.
  • France and Germany announced second national lockdowns on Wednesday, with Italy, Spain, and the UK also introducing new measures in the past fortnight.
  • The US is also reporting record numbers of new cases even as President Donald Trump's administration is claiming that the pandemic is over. Several states have introduced or warned of new measures.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Europe's COVID-19 crisis is worsening, while the US is struggling to keep new infections down.

Europe faces more curfews, restrictions as virus cases swell

  Europe faces more curfews, restrictions as virus cases swell ROME (AP) — Curfews were largely expanded Thursday across France, which registered some 41.600 new confirmed virus cases to approach a total of 1 million, while similar overnight restrictions were slapped on Italy's three biggest cities — Rome, Naples and Milan — as rapidly rising caseloads across Europe prompted tighter limits on everyday ways of life. In Greece, people in the Athens area and other parts of the country with high infection rates were also ordered to stay off the streets from 12:30 a.m. to 5 a.m.

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.

The US, which hit the peak of its first outbreak a little later than Europe, is also struggling under the weight of a wave of new infections.

'This year's Christmas will be a different Christmas'

In the last 14 days, the US, France, Italy, Germany, Britain, and Sweden — which had opted against lockdown measures during the pandemic — all reported record numbers of new daily infections.

Last Sunday, Italy reported a new high of 21,273 daily new coronavirus cases, while in France, a record 52,010 people tested positive. On Thursday, a record 16,744 people tested positive in Germany. And on Wednesday, Sweden registered a new peak of 1,980 new COVID-19 cases.

Ukraine's local elections test leader and his young party

  Ukraine's local elections test leader and his young party KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainians were voting Sunday in local elections that are considered a test for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a former comedian who took office last year vowing to bring peace, uproot endemic corruption and shore up a worsening economy. Zelenskiy was elected president by a landslide in April 2019 after campaigning on promises to end fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists in the country's east.Zelenskiy was elected president by a landslide in April 2019 after campaigning on promises to end fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists in the country's east.

Meanwhile, the US logged a record 83,000 new daily cases on Friday.

Here's what European countries have done — and may yet do — to prevent their outbreaks spiraling further:

  • France: On Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron said the country would "brutally apply the brakes" from Friday. Social gatherings were banned, restaurants and bars forced to close, and citizens only allowed to leave home for essential work or medical care. "The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated," he said.
  • Germany: On Wednesday, the country announced a lockdown from November 2 to November 30. Restaurants and bars can only operate as takeaways; theaters, gyms, pools, and cinemas will close; and a maximum ten people from two households can meet. Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany's health system "can still cope" with current cases, but said that "at this speed of infections it will reach the limits of its capacity within weeks."
  • Italy: On Monday, the country told gyms, pools, cinemas, and theaters to close until November 24, and said bars and restaurants must close by 6 p.m. As a result, violent protests swept though Italy earlier this week.
  • UK: The UK is yet to reintroduce a nationwide lockdown, but launched a three-tier warning system on October 12. However, scientists and experts are warning it is not enough, and that a UK-wide lockdown is imperative. Wales, which is part of the UK, launched its own two-week "firebreak" lockdown on Friday.
  • Sweden: The country has opted against lockdown measures throughout the pandemic, and has never instituted a national lockdown. But in light of the new cases, some major cities — like Malmö and Uppsala — urged residents not to socialize and to avoid crowded places.
  • Belgium: On October 20, a record 18,000 new cases were reported. A Belgian official told Reuters that the government had to decide whether a new lockdown should be imposed by the weekend.

"We are deep in the second wave," Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. and Europe are losing the coronavirus battle

  The U.S. and Europe are losing the coronavirus battle Infections and hospitalizations are spiking as an autumnal surge hits both sides of the Atlantic. President Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, made a telling admission. “We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” suggesting that the spread of the coronavirus was a fait accompli and that containment was not a central plank of the White House’s strategy. On Friday, the United States recorded a record single-day high of more than 83,000 new cases. The next day, it was just 39 cases short of the previous mark.

"I think that this year's Christmas will be a different Christmas."

Cases surging in 47 states

In the US, Donald Trump's administration is claiming that it has beaten the pandemic, even as the country enters its third wave and is logging record numbers of new cases.

Experts have warned that the US' third coronavirus surge could be the deadliest.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top epidemiologist, told CNBC on Wednesday: "If things do not change ... there's gonna be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations, and deaths."

The number of new daily cases are on the rise in 47 states, CNBC said.

The US federal government did not impose a national lockdown early in the pandemic, but many states, like California and New York, took it upon themselves to enforce strict measures.

Medical personnel move a deceased patient to a refrigerated truck serving as make shift morgues at Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 09, 2020 in New York City. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images © ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images Medical personnel move a deceased patient to a refrigerated truck serving as make shift morgues at Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 09, 2020 in New York City. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

And in recent days, several US states have started imposing, or are threatening to impose, new restrictions.

Spain tries to reverse economic slump as unemployment rises

  Spain tries to reverse economic slump as unemployment rises MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government plans to increase taxes on big corporations and the wealthy and use 27 billion euros ($31.8 billion) in European grants as it tries to reverse one of the deepest coronavirus-related slumps among developed economies. The country is grappling with a resurgence of the virus that has claimed at least 35,000 lives. The government says COVID-19 has probably infected more than 3 million people since the beginning of the pandemic, although tests have detected only a third of that number.

J.B. Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, banned eating and drinking inside bars and restaurants in Chicago on Tuesday.

Gina Raimondo, the governor of Rhode Island, told the AP that her state may have to bring back containment measures if things deteriorate.

"We're in a bad place. This data is not encouraging. It's headed in the wrong direction in every metric," she said.

Hospitals across the US are also warning that they will not have adequate supply levels or people power to care for patients during the surge.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump’s Covid-19 disaster will likely get worse before Biden takes office .
Biden’s victory comes too late to stop a Covid-19 surge this fall and winter.It’s true. President-Elect Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump, but his inauguration isn’t until January 20, 2021. Until then, there are no signs that Trump will give up any levers of power early — if anything, the opposite is true, as Trump now contests the election results. So Trump’s failed response to Covid-19 will continue, unchecked, over the next couple of months.

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