SITUATION IN EUROPE: Strict rules and mass testing against coronavirus

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In view of further increasing corona numbers, several European countries have tightened their protective measures against the virus, in some cases drastically. In Greece, a three-week lockdown for the entire country with a night-time curfew has been in force since Saturday. Poland imposed further restrictions. Lithuania is going into a partial lockdown for an initial three weeks. In Latvia the Corona emergency applies from Monday.

In Lithuania, the number of new corona infections reached a peak on the first day of the partial lockdown. The health authority in Vilnius reported positive tests within 24 hours on Saturday 1972 in the Baltic EU country. So far the record was 1656 new cases, recorded the day before. In view of the rapidly increasing numbers, the Lithuanian government in Vilnius has sent the entire country into a partial lockdown for an initial three weeks since Saturday.

Italy. Source: pixabay.com

In Italy, the highest daily number of new infections with the coronavirus to date was reported on Saturday. According to the Ministry of Health, there were 39,811 new cases within 24 hours. 425 deaths were registered, compared to 446 the day before. In total, there have been 41,063 corona deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to the Ministry of Health. Within 24 hours, 231,673 tests were carried out.

The number of confirmed active cases exceeded the 500,000 threshold for the first time, to 532,536 to be exact. 504,793 people were in quarantine. The number of Covid-19 patients treated in hospitals increased from 24,005 to 25,109 compared to the previous day, the Italian authorities further reported. In the intensive care units there were 2,634 patients

Restrictive measures came into force in Italy this weekend due to the massive increase in corona numbers. Since Friday evening, a night-time curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. as well as the closure of shopping centers on weekends has been in force. In four regions – Lombardy, Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta and Calabria – a “lockdown light” with curfew and travel restrictions was imposed. Stores and premises with the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies, newsstands and tobacconists will have to close in these regions. During the night to Saturday the government adopted support measures for the affected economic sectors to the tune of two billion euros.

Throughout Greece, all stores – with the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies and other vital businesses – had to close at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday. There is also a night-time curfew from 21.00 to 5.00 hours. Anyone who wants to go shopping or see a doctor during the day must inform the authorities by SMS. Masks are compulsory everywhere.

Greece. Source: pixabay.com

In Poland, too, further restrictions on public life have been in force since Saturday in view of the drastically increasing number of new infections. Cinemas, theaters and museums are closed again – as are stores in shopping centers, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies. All schools are switching to distance learning. The restrictions are to remain in force until November 29.

Denmark imposes far-reaching restrictions in the North Jutland region out of concern about a spread of a mutation of the coronavirus that has occurred in minks. In the municipalities of Hjorring, Frederikshavn, Bronderslev, Jammerbugt, Thisted, Vesthimmerland and Læso, restaurants, bars and other establishments had to close. In Denmark, at least 214 people have been infected with the coronavirus variant, which originally appeared in minks, since June. Nationwide SARSs-CoV-2 was found in 216 breeding facilities by Friday. The cluster 5 virus type, which is classified as a cause for concern, has so far been found in five farms and in 12 people. The Danish government has ordered the killing of the approximately 15 million minks in the country.

Slovakia, however, is continuing its nationwide mass testing. According to the government’s plan in Bratislava, a large part of the 5.5 million inhabitants will be subjected to a second rapid antigen test this weekend. All residents between the ages of ten and 65 are called upon to do so. Only those parts of the country that showed very few infections in the first round will not have to take part. Participation in the unprecedented campaign in Slovakia is voluntary. However, starting Monday, all those who do not have a negative test result will be subject to a rigorous curfew. They are not even allowed to go to work.

In a first round last weekend, more than 3.6 million people were tested for the coronavirus. More than 38,000 people who had tested positive and who would otherwise have spread the infection undetected had been sent to quarantine, explained head of government Igor Matovic. He now wants to have corona mass tests carried out regularly. This would be an alternative to a strict lockdown, the newspaper “Dennik N” quoted him on Saturday.

In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Health recorded 11,549 new infections with the corona virus within 24 hours on Saturday. A total of 403,497 cases of infection have been detected so far. The country, in which 10.7 million people live, had the highest number of deaths in Europe in the past two weeks, measured by the number of inhabitants. So far 4,330 people have died of or with the virus. The Czech Republic also has one of the highest infection rates in Europe.

Lithuania is going into a partial lockdown for three weeks. Catering establishments are only allowed to sell outside the country until November 29th, leisure, cultural, entertainment and sports facilities must close as far as possible and events and meetings in public places are prohibited. Furthermore, masks are mandatory in almost all public places.

Latvia declares a state of emergency for the second time due to the spread of the coronavirus. The government in Riga declared on Friday that the state of emergency should apply from November 9 to December 6. As of Monday, catering establishments will only be allowed to sell outside the home, leisure, entertainment and sports facilities will have to close their doors to a large extent, and events and meetings in public places will be prohibited. At private events, only up to ten people may gather.

In Hungary, 107 more people died within 24 hours from or with the coronavirus than ever before. A total of 2,357 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic were recorded by Saturday noon. More and more corona infected people would have to be treated in hospital, currently 5,612. 405 patients need respirators.

In Belgium, which has been severely affected by the corona pandemic, almost 1,000 Covid 19 patients have been transferred to other hospitals since the beginning of October due to congestion in some hospitals. Most of the 945 affected patients were accommodated elsewhere in the country, 24 were brought to Germany, the Belga news agency reported on Saturday. The measure was intended to create space in hospitals that have reached their capacity limits.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Test with Belgium Flag. pixabay.com

In relation to the number of inhabitants, Belgium is one of the countries in Europe most severely affected by the Corona crisis. Since Monday, more stringent restrictions have been in place. Among other things, only stores selling essential goods are allowed to open. Already in mid-October the closure of pubs, restaurants and cafes as well as a night-time curfew had been decided. In addition, since then the rule has been in effect that citizens may only maintain closer contact with someone else outside their own household.

According to the government, the measures are to remain in effect initially until mid-December. However, the necessity of the business closures will be reviewed again on December 1. In the country with about 11.5 million inhabitants, there are about 488,000 confirmed corona cases so far, more than 12,000 people have died.

From Germany 23,399 new infections have been reported. This means that the total number of cases has now reached 642,488. According to the data, a further 130 people died from or with the virus, a total of 11,226. On Friday, more than 20,000 new infections were recorded in one day for the first time.

India registered 50,356 new corona infections. Thus, the total number of infections increased to 8.46 million within 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health. The number of deaths increased by 577 to 125,562. India has the second most confirmed infections worldwide after the U.S., but has seen a downward trend in new infections since September.

Meanwhile, according to updated data, the U.S. recorded a record number of at least 129,606 new corona infections for the third consecutive day. The total number of infections thus climbed to 9.78 million, according to a survey based on official data. The number of deaths after infection increased by at least 1,219 to 236,250. The speed with which the virus is spreading nationwide is shown by the fact that 20 of the 50 states alone reported a new record. The USA is the country most affected by the pandemic worldwide.

hp, Source. APA, Picture: pixabay.com

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