PARIS: Due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases across Europe, France and various other countries are going back to closing down schools, restricting movement of people and enlisting people for voluntary medical service. With over 100,000 cases reported daily from Europe, it has overtaken the United States of America by a huge margin, where the number of daily cases are still close to 51,000.
In the case of France, President Emmanuel Macron announced night curfews for four weeks from Saturday in Paris and other major cities, affecting almost one-third of the country’s 67 million people. He said that the curfews are being put into effect to temporarily restrict “parties, the moments of conviviality where there are 50 or 60 people, festive evenings because, unfortunately, these are vectors for the acceleration of the disease.”
This comes after most European countries eased lockdowns over the summer in order to revive dying economies which were already battered by the effects of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. However, this is most likely the cause for the sudden spike in cases witnessed just before the start of the winter season.
A change in the rules in London is likely in very short order, according to an official in London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office. Khan and health leaders met on Wednesday, October 14, to discuss the potential move into stricter restrictions, which would ban two separate households from meeting indoors, the official said. London will soon hit an average of 100 cases per 100,000 people, the official added.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, said that she and 16 state leaders from across Germany agreed on Wednesday, October 14, to adopt tougher and more stringent measures to fight the pandemic. “We are already in a phase of exponential growth, the daily numbers show that,” she said.
Although the governments had already shut down bars, pubs and other places of public gathering since the start of the new lockdown, they are facing a dilemma in deciding if they should continue to keep schools and non-COVID medical care functioning.
The Czech Republic has also decided shifting to online education and plans to call up thousands of medical students. Hospitals have also been advised to cut non-urgent medical procedures to free up beds.
Poland is ramping up training for nurses and considering creating military field hospitals, while Moscow is planning on moving a majority of the country’s students to online learning. Northern Ireland is also closing schools for two weeks and restaurants for four.