Close  

Europe clamps down as pandemic worsens

/ 04:52 AM October 02, 2020
(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 07, 2020 A nurse tends to an intubated and sedated patient infected with COVID-19 at the intensive care unit of the Peupliers private hospital in Paris, on April 7, 2020, on the 22nd day of a strict lockdown in France aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. - More than 1,200 Covid-19 patients are now in intensive care in France, including 135 in the last 24 hours, according to figures from Public Health France published. There are now 1,232 people who have been placed in intensive care in total.  A figure well below the levels reached during the peak of the epidemic, with 7,000 patients in sheaves in early April, but which is progressing rapidly. (Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP)

In this file photo taken on April 07, 2020 A nurse tends to an intubated and sedated patient infected with COVID-19 at the intensive care unit of the Peupliers private hospital in Paris. – More than 1,200 Covid-19 patients are now in intensive care in France, including 135 in the last 24 hours, according to figures from Public Health France published. There are now 1,232 people who have been placed in intensive care in total. A figure well below the levels reached during the peak of the epidemic, with 7,000 patients in sheaves in early April, but which is progressing rapidly. (Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP)

MADRID, Spain — The coronavirus situation in Europe continued to deteriorate Thursday, with French authorities warning that Paris could be put on maximum alert and Spain extending drastic restrictions across its capital Madrid.

By 2000 GMT Thursday the pandemic had killed at least 1,019,267 people around the world and infected over 34 million, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.

ADVERTISEMENT

French authorities said they may place Paris on maximum virus alert as soon as Monday, potentially requiring all bars to close as the number of cases surges.

“We’re in a phase where the situation is worsening,” Health Minister Olivier Veran said.

FEATURED STORIES

Spain, fighting a second wave of the virus, also extended drastic restrictions across its capital, despite fierce opposition from Madrid’s regional authorities, and most other regions have agreed to tighten curbs in areas of rapid contagion.

Madrid is struggling with a rate of 780 cases per 100,000 people, compared with just 300 per 100,000 in the rest of Spain — which in itself is the highest in the European Union.

In Britain, chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance told reporters “things are definitely heading in the wrong direction” as the government extended lockdowns to several towns in northern England, effectively putting more than a quarter of the country under tighter coronavirus restrictions.

And the Slovak and Czech governments both decided to impose states of emergency, starting Thursday and next Monday respectively, to allow them to take quick decisions in the face of considerable upticks in infections and deaths.

Stadium crowds return

In the sporting world, Italian football suffered a blow with the postponement of Genoa’s weekend match against Torino because team and staff members at the Ligurian club tested positive for the coronavirus.

Nevertheless, European football’s governing body, UEFA, said that it will allow spectators back into matches in the Champions League and its other club and international competitions “at a maximum of 30 percent” capacity.

In Switzerland, stadium crowds also returned for the first time since the pandemic began, but Health Minister Alain Berset said the Alpine country was entering a “delicate phase” of its battle against the virus.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s the start of autumn, it is a bit colder outside and the coronavirus continues to complicate our lives,” he said on Twitter.

China ‘unwinding’

On the other side of the globe in China, where the outbreak began late last year, the Golden Week holiday marking the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic took on added significance this year.

“People are travelling with a vengeance!” said Huo Binxing, a banker from Beijing who was heading to Lhasa in Tibet. “It’s our first chance to unwind after such a stressful period.”

Also spreading their wings were travellers to South Africa, where a first batch of regional and international flights landed Thursday after a more than six-month shutdown.

While it reopened its borders to all African countries, South Africa is barring tourists from around 50 nations with high infection rates, including Britain, France, India, Russia and the US.

The skies were far less bright in the United States, where American and United airlines announced they would begin furloughing 19,000 and 13,000 workers respectively as US officials have failed to reach a deal on fresh aid.

Trump’s misinformation

Also in the US, a study from Cornell University said President Donald Trump has been the world’s biggest driver of misinformation during the pandemic.

Evaluating 38 million articles published by English-language, traditional media worldwide between January 1 and May 26 of this year, a team identified 522,472 news articles that reproduced or amplified misinformation related to the pandemic.

The most popular topic was “miracle cures” that appeared in 295,351 articles. The authors found comments by Trump drove major spikes in that theme.

In India, meanwhile, new research suggested that a small group of super-spreaders was responsible for almost two-thirds of coronavirus cases in the world’s second-most populous nation.

The study, published in the journal Science, found that eight percent of all people carrying the virus were responsible for 60 percent of new infections.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Europe, France, Spain
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.