Daily infections hit newrecord globally
PARIS UNDER CURFEW AS EUROPE BATTLES NEW SURGE
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.
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.
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.
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.