Daily in­fec­tions hit newrecord glob­ally

PARIS UN­DER CUR­FEW AS EUROPE BAT­TLES NEW SURGE

Gulf News - - SUNDAY -

Mil­lions of Euro­peans yes­ter­day faced tough new coro­n­avirus re­stric­tions as gov­ern­ments try to com­bat spi­ralling in­fec­tions.

Paris and other French cities are un­der a night­time cur­few which will last for at least a month, while Eng­land is ban­ning mixed house­hold gath­er­ings in the cap­i­tal and other ar­eas and Italy’s most pop­u­lous re­gion is lim­it­ing bar open­ings and sus­pend­ing sports events.

On Fri­day, the num­ber of cases in the US — the hard­esthit coun­try in the world — topped eight mil­lion while glob­ally daily in­fec­tions hit a new record of 413,206.

Europe crosses 150,000 daily cas­es­mark

Europe sur­passed 150,000 daily cases just a week af­ter re­port­ing 100,000 cases for the first time with coun­tries such as France, Ger­many re­port­ing record daily num­bers of in­fec­tions last week.

As a re­gion, Europe is re­port­ing more daily cases than In­dia, Brazil and the US com­bined.

The UK, France, Rus­sia, Nether­lands, Ger­many and Spain ac­counted for about half of Europe’s new cases.

Ever tighter­mea­sures

In the face of the surge, gov­ern­ments have been forced to em­bark on ever tighter mea­sures to con­trol the pan­demic’s spread, while try­ing to avoid full- on lock­downs. Covid- 19 has now­claimed the lives of 1.11 mil­lion across the planet since it first emerged in China in De­cem­ber, with the United States suf­fer­ing the­most deaths of any coun­try at­more than 223,000.

‘ It feels to me like be­ing back in March’

About 20 mil­lion peo­ple in Paris and sev­eral other French cities were facing the start of a 9 pm- 6 am cur­few af­ter the coun­try on Thurs­day saw a newhigh of 30,000 cases in 24 hours in one of Europe’s ma­jor host­pots.

“It’s ter­ri­ble. It feels to me like be­ing back in­March,” said Hocine Saal, head of the emer­gency ser­vice at the hos­pi­tal in the Paris suburb of Mon­treuil, adding that ris­ing num­bers of non- coro­n­avirus pa­tients made cop­ing “re­ally dif­fi­cult”.

In Bri­tain, about 28 mil­lion peo­ple— half of the pop­u­la­tion of Eng­land — are now sub­ject to tight so­cial re­stric­tions.

Global coro­n­avirus cases rose by more than 400,000 for the first time yes­ter­day — a record one- day in­crease as the to­tal num­ber of in­fec­tions surged past the 39 mil­lion­mark.

The US re­ported the most daily in­fec­tions in two months with cases top­ping 8.3 mil­lion yes­ter­day, while Euro­pean coun­tries tight­ened mea­sures to con­trol the pan­demic’s spread.

The run­ning US case tally from Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity is the high­est in the world, fol­lowed by In­dia at 7.4 mil­lion cases and Brazil with 5.2 mil­lion. Amer­ica also suf­fered the most coro­n­avirus deaths of any coun­try, at over 220,000.

Huge leap

Across Europe, the av­er­age num­ber of daily in­fec­tions leapt 44 per cent in a sin­gle week to over 121,000. “It’s ter­ri­ble. It feels to me like be­ing back in March,” said Hocine Saal, head of emer­gency ser­vices at a hos­pi­tal in the Paris suburb of Mon­treuil, adding that ris­ing num­bers of non- Covid pa­tients made cop­ing “re­ally dif­fi­cult”.

Slow­ing the spread

By im­pos­ing re­stric­tions in cer­tain re­gions only, or only dur­ing cer­tain hours of the day, gov­ern­ments are try­ing to slow the spread of the pan­demic while spar­ing their bat­tered economies a dam­ag­ing full- scale lock­down.

In the US, the govern­ment said its bud­get deficit in the year to Septem­ber surged 281 per cent to $ 3.1 tril­lion, af­ter Wash­ing­ton mas­sively in­creased spend­ing to sup­port ac­tiv­ity through the out­break. The pre­vi­ous record was $ 1.4 tril­lion in 2009, dur­ing the global fi­nan­cial crisis.

On Satur­day, the num­ber killed by the coro­n­avirus so far topped 1.1 mil­lion world­wide, from over 39.8 mil­lion cases.

AP

Pedes­tri­ans pass an ad­ver­tise­ment on the Arn­dale Cen­tre shop­ping mall read­ing “Act nowto avoid a lo­cal lock­down” in Manch­ester, UK. Lon­don im­posed tighter re­stric­tions yes­ter­day with a ban on house­holds mix­ing in­doors, amid a surge in newin­fec­tions.

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