The restrictions also provoked clashes in Italy, in Naples, between the Police and some young protesters against the isolation decreed on Friday night in the region of this city. “If you close, you pay!”, Could be read on the signs of the demonstrators worried about the economic consequences.
The WHO has sounded the alarm: “too many countries” in the northern hemisphere are experiencing an exponential progression of COVID-19 cases. The result: hospitals and care centers are close to or have exceeded their limits, the organization warned.
Across the European continent, the number of new coronavirus infections exceeds 8.2 million, while more than 258,000 people have died from COVID-19. Of which 10,003 in Germany, a country relatively bypassed by the pandemic but hit by the new wave.
The pandemic has killed at least 1,139,406 people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to an AFP report on Friday. And a record new contamination, nearly 80,000 in 24 hours, was set by the United States.
The situation is deteriorating in Eastern Europe: In the face of the outbreak of contamination on its territory, Poland enters the “red zone” on Saturday, a measure that until now targeted only large cities and their surroundings.
Restaurants and schools will be partially closed, and high schools and students will practice distance learning. Marriage ceremonies are forbidden and the number of people strictly reduced in shops, means of transport and churches.
In neighboring Slovakia, the traffic ban will take effect from Saturday to November 1. And in the Czech Republic, where the rate of contamination and deaths is the highest in Europe in two weeks, partial isolation has already been imposed by 3 November.
Partial isolation also applies on Saturday in Slovenia, where Foreign Minister Anze Logar was diagnosed with Covid-19.
The night traffic ban will be imposed on Saturday in the main cities of Greece, Athens and Thessaloniki. The mask will become mandatory inside as well as outside.
In the rest of the continent, the situation is worrying in France, which on Friday exceeded the threshold of one million cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The situation continues to deteriorate with 42,032 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours, a new record.
Health authorities fear a second wave “worse than the first” and are considering local quarantines.
In Italy, in Naples, the traffic ban decreed on Friday caused anger and concern. Several people lit smoke bombs, set fire to the bins and fired projectiles at police in the city center.
Apart from the Naples region, the traffic ban is in force in Lazio, Rome, and in Lombardy, Milan.
In Spain, which has officially exceeded one million coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez estimated on Friday that the actual number “exceeds three million”. Shortly before, several regions announced new restrictions, urging the central government to impose a ban on night traffic.
In Belgium, authorities in five French-speaking Walloon provinces decided on Friday to tighten measures taken at the federal level, and town halls in 19 Brussels communes will decide on Saturday whether to do the same.
In Britain, Europe’s saddest country with more than 44,000 dead, Wales has returned to solitary confinement from Friday to November 9th.
Ireland again forced the isolation of the population for six weeks on Wednesday, closing non-essential businesses.
Denmark also announced measures to restrict the assembly and extension of the wearing of the mask on Monday.
Two studies of experimental vaccines against Covid-19 will resume in the United States after false alarms, increasing the chances of having one or more vaccines authorized from now until the beginning of 2021.
In Latin America, the restrictions will continue in Argentina for two weeks to stop the progression of contamination. “We are far from solving this problem,” President Alberto Fernandez said on Friday.