• Con­cern mounts in Europe over record daily case counts.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Front Page -

MI­LAN — Doc­tors are warn­ing Europe is at a turn­ing point as the coron­avirus surges back across the con­ti­nent, in­clud­ing among vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, and gov­ern­ments try to im­pose re­stric­tions with­out lock­ing whole economies down.

With newly con­firmed cases reach­ing records, the Czech Repub­lic has shut down schools and is build­ing a field hos­pi­tal; Poland has lim­ited restau­rant hours and closed gyms and schools; and France is plan­ning a 9 p. m. cur­few in Paris and other big cities. In Bri­tain, au­thor­i­ties are clos­ing pubs and bars in ar­eas in the coun­try’s north, while putting lim­its on so­cial­iz­ing in Lon­don and other parts of the coun­try.

“This is a se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tion that should not be un­der­es­ti­mated. It is se­ri­ous on a Euro­pean level,’’ Italy’s health min­is­ter, Roberto Sper­anza, said Fri­day.

“If we don’t get a han­dle on this, we run the risk of get­ting into a sit­u­a­tion that’s harder to con­trol,” Bertrand Levrat, the head of Switzer­land’s big­gest hos­pi­tal com­plex, told The As­so­ci­ated Press. “We are re­ally at a turn­ing point — things can go both ways.”

But while of­fi­cials are sound­ing the alarm on the ris­ing cases, they are also wary of im­pos­ing the stricter na­tion­wide lock­downs that dev­as­tated their economies this spring. In­stead, they are try­ing more tar­geted re­stric­tions.

France is de­ploy­ing 12,000 ex­tra po­lice to en­force its new cur­few; Satur­day night will be the first time es­tab­lish­ments will be forced to close at 9 p. m. Restau­rants, cin­e­mas and the­aters are try­ing to fig­ure out how they can sur­vive the forced early clo­sures.

Cul­ture Min­is­ter Rose­lyne Bach­e­lot told Le Parisien

news­pa­per she is ne­go­ti­at­ing for ex­cep­tions to a month­long cur­few across the Paris re­gion and eight other met­ro­pol­i­tan ar­eas.

One movie the­ater chain will start open­ing at 8 a. m. in hopes of mak­ing up evening losses. Be­cause Paris restau­rants gen­er­ally open at 7 or 7: 30 p. m. for din­ner, some might close al­to­gether be­cause it no longer makes fi­nan­cial sense to stay open for such a short shift.

“The French cul­ture world isn’t in­vin­ci­ble; it needs help,” au­thor and film­maker Yoann Sfar, who has a new movie com­ing out, said Fri­day on RTL ra­dio.

Italy, the first coun­try out­side of Asia to de­tect lo­cal trans­mis­sion of the virus, has banned pickup sports and pub­lic gath­er­ings af­ter health of­fi­cials said the resur­gence had reached ‘’ an acute phase’’ fol­low­ing a pe­riod of rel­a­tive grace fol­low­ing its par­tic­u­larly strict lock­down. Mr. Sper­anza, the health min­is­ter, told re­porters any

new mea­sures in Italy, in­clud­ing a cur­few, need to be “well- con­sid­ered.”

Mas­simo Galli, the di­rec­tor of in­fec­tious dis­eases at Mi­lan’s Luigi Sacco hos­pi­tal, said Italy’s surge — which hit pan­demic highs of new daily in­fec­tions this week — is not the re­sult of record test­ing, as pol­i­cy­mak­ers have sug­gested, but a sign of a real re­turn among the pop­u­la­tion most at risk of de­vel­op­ing se­ri­ous ill­ness if in­fected.

That is a wor­ry­ing trend since a tide of se­ri­ous cases has the po­ten­tial to swamp hos­pi­tals, and it’s one that can be seen in other coun­tries on the con­ti­nent as many see even higher num­bers than Italy.

France, Spain and Bri­tain recorded more than 300 in­fec­tions per 100,000 res­i­dents over the past two weeks, com­pared to Italy’s quick­en­ing but rel­a­tively low 106.

The Czech Repub­lic re­ported over 700 peo­ple in­fected per 100,000, and the coun­try’s mil­i­tary will start

to build a field hos­pi­tal at Prague’s ex­hi­bi­tion cen­ter this week­end — a re­minder of the dark days of spring when many coun­tries put up makeshift fa­cil­i­ties to ease pres­sure on over­whelmed med­i­cal cen­ters. The gov­ern­ment is also ne­go­ti­at­ing with neigh­bor­ing Ger­many and some other coun­tries for Czechs to be treated there if the health sys­tem can’t han­dle them.

In Italy, Mi­lan is the epi­cen­ter of the resur­gence, and it, too, is see­ing its hos­pi­tals strained. Sacco’s COVID- 19 ward was the first in the city to be­gin fill­ing up.

“We have a sit­u­a­tion that re­minds one quite distress­ingly of the one that we al­ready have ex­pe­ri­enced,’’ Mr. Galli told The As­so­ci­ated Press, re­fer­ring to the peak in March and April when Italy hit its record of 969 deaths in one day. The coun­try recorded 83 deaths on Thurs­day — twice pre­vi­ous days, but far off ear­lier lev­els.

Pierre- Phillippe Mar­cou/ AFP via Getty Im­ages

Two health care work­ers hug at the In­ten­sive Care Unit ( ICU) of the Severo Ochoa Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal in Le­ganes on Fri­day. Spain’s cen­tral gov­ern­ment has de­clared a state of emer­gency in the Madrid re­gion to en­force a par­tial lock­down in and around the cap­i­tal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.