In view of the dramatically increasing corona infection figures, more and more European countries besides Austria are shutting down public life again. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a second lockdown in England on Saturday, which is to last four weeks. Portugal and Greece, like the turquoise-green government, also imposed partial lockdowns. Meanwhile, Slovakia began with nationwide corona tests of the entire population.
“Now is the time for action because there is no alternative,” said British Prime Minister Johnson. The corona virus is spreading “even faster than in the worst-case scenario of the scientific advisors”. Immediately before the announcement of the renewed lockdown, the number of corona infection cases in Great Britain had exceeded the threshold of one million after almost 22,000 new infections had been reported within 24 hours.
The lockdown in the UK starts on Thursday and is limited until December 2. The schools are to remain open. Primary care stores will be allowed to open, and the population will stay at home apart from going to work, school or the doctor.
With more than 46,000 deaths, Great Britain has the highest number of corona deaths in Europe. According to documents from the government’s Emergency Scientific Advisory Group (Sage), the number of infected people and hospital admissions could soon exceed worst-case calculations. The worst-case scenario worked out in July assumed a further 85,000 deaths in a second wave of infection in winter.
As in Austria, Greece, too, will be subject to a partial lockdown from Tuesday onwards, with the closure of restaurants, cafes, museums and cinemas. In Portugal, a partial lockdown will come into effect on Wednesday and will apply to around three quarters of the population. In the affected communities, citizens are to retire to their homes, but they will be allowed to go to work if homework is not possible, and take their children to school. Stores must close at 10 p.m. at the latest.
Portugal, which was still praised in the spring for its low corona numbers, has also announced a partial lockdown in view of the ever faster rising infection figures. 70 percent of the country’s 10.3 million citizens would have the “civic duty” to stay at home if possible starting Wednesday, said head of government António Costa after an eight-hour crisis meeting on Saturday evening in Lisbon. However, schools should remain open.
The Czech Republic extended the state of emergency due to Corona until November 20. Slovakia is taking a special path: there, comprehensive corona tests for the entire population began on Saturday. In about 5,000 test centers throughout the country, around 45,000 medical professionals, soldiers and police officers were ready to provide free rapid tests to all citizens aged ten years and older. Prime Minister Igor Matovic said that the mass tests could save “hundreds of lives”. If successful, he also sees them as a model for other countries: the whole world will follow the experiment closely. Slovakia, which has a population of around 5.4 million, is the first country of this size to test its entire population. In Europe, only smaller countries such as Luxembourg and Monaco have so far announced nationwide tests. In China, the inhabitants of entire cities have already been tested.
In Italy and Spain, meanwhile, there is growing discontent about the corona measures. There, demonstrators clashed violently with the police at the weekend, and there were injured and arrested.
hp, with reports from kurier.at. Picture: pixabay.com
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