Europe, WHO sound alarm over resurgent virus crisis

5 mins read

(AFP) – The European Union’s illness management company has joined frantic well being employees to sound the alarm over a coronavirus surge throughout the continent, because the World Health Organization warned of an “exponential” rise in infections.

Even international locations that averted extreme outbreaks throughout Europe’s first wave of contagion within the spring have watched their case numbers surge, with Germany’s demise toll passing 10,000 on Saturday.

Governments have reintroduced containment measures to gradual the renewed unfold of the virus in nations that solely weeks earlier believed that they had triumphed over the crisis.

But populations weary of social isolation and financial hardship have pushed again in opposition to recent restrictions, together with in a single day clashes in hard-hit Naples between Italian police and tons of of protesters.

The continent was dealing with a serious menace to public well being and a “highly concerning epidemiological situation,” stated Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The company stated all EU international locations besides Cyprus, Estonia, Finland and Greece fell right into a “serious concern” class, as did the United Kingdom, up from simply seven a month in the past.

After Spain grew to become the primary European nation to formally report 1,000,000 Covid-19 instances earlier within the week, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stated Friday the actual variety of infections was seemingly greater than triple that quantity.

France adopted Spain previous the million-case milestone on Friday whereas Germany hit a recent every day report of almost 15,000 new instances, with well being authorities urging the general public to comply with social distancing measures.

Urgent new restrictions on every day life have come into impact in a number of nations, with France extending a curfew to cowl 46 million individuals.

Parts of Italy together with the capital Rome went beneath curfew late Friday, prompting a name to protest on social media that noticed tons of of demonstrators in Naples throw objects at police and set garbage bins on hearth.

The nation is reeling from its worst post-war recession after a gruelling two-month nationwide lockdown prompted by one among Europe’s worst outbreaks, and authorities have up to now been reluctant to repeat the drastic quarantine restrictions seen then.

Wales entered a full lockdown on Friday night, a day after Ireland shut down, whereas Poland adopted a nationwide “red zone” lockdown mandating the partial closure of main faculties and eating places.

Only Sweden, which famously refused to lock down earlier this yr, continued to stay to its weapons regardless of an increase in instances.

‘We’re overwhelmed’

Across the planet, Covid-19 has now claimed the lives of 1.1 million individuals and contaminated near 42 million, with the WHO warning the northern hemisphere was at a crucial juncture.

“Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in Covid-19 cases and that is now leading to hospitals and intensive care units running close to or above capacity,” stated WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Belgium has seen one among Europe’s deadliest per capita outbreaks and has discovered itself struggling among the highest second-wave an infection charges in Europe.

“We’re losing. We’re overwhelmed. We’re bitter,” stated Benoit Misset, head of the intensive care unit on the University Hospital within the metropolis of Liege, the place a number of of his workers are having to work regardless of being optimistic — if asymptomatic — themselves.

Work has continued on the worldwide quest to discover a vaccine for the illness, with scientific trials for one candidate developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University resuming within the United States on Friday, six weeks after a take a look at topic grew to become ailing.

US presidential hopeful Joe Biden stated that if elected he would mandate free coronavirus vaccines for all Americans.

“Once we have a safe and effective vaccine, it has to be free to everyone — whether or not you’re insured,” Biden stated in a speech laying out his pandemic response plan simply 11 days earlier than the November 3 election.

© Agence France-Presse


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.