The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is mainly affecting large urban centers in Europe and the authorities are resorting to all to the limitation of social life and of the nocturnal activity to stop its expansion.
This is the panorama in some of the largest cities on the continent.
Paris, no cafes or bars
Already at the beginning of this week, last Tuesday, Paris became a city without bars, or open cafes and on Saturday there were eight French cities in the same situation.
Paris, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Guadeloupe (Antilles), Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne, are already in a situation of “maximum alert”, a classification that imposes the closure of cafes and bars and allows opening restaurants on condition of respecting a more strict sanitary protocol: a maximum of six people per table, at least one meter between the groups and the obligation to write down the name and telephone number of the clients to alert them in case of contagion.
Toulouse Y Montpellier They could soon be added to that list if their contagion indicators do not improve.
The maximum alert is declared in France when the cumulative incidence rate in the last seven days exceeds 250 positives per 100,000 inhabitants between the general population and the 100 cases among the elderly, as well as when at least 30% of the beds in ICUs are occupied by COVID-19 patients.
“The health situation continues to degrade in France. It is the same in many neighboring countries, “French Health Minister Olivier Veran warned this week.
Only on Friday they were registered in France 20,339 infections —A record of positives, compared to nearly 18,000 in the previous two days—, which raised the number of cases since the beginning of the epidemic to 691,977, to which 32,630 deaths are attributed in this country
That same Friday, it was reported that Madrid had registered 2,256 cases in 24 hours, figures that place this city as one of the most affected European capitals. The autonomous community of Madrid has an incidence of the disease of 541 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, double the Spanish average, which is 258, according to health authorities.
For this reason, the Spanish Government decided to impose, from Friday and for 15 days, impose a state of alarm in the city and in eight other municipalities in the region.
This means that the inhabitants of the Spanish capital have been confined, without being able to choose another destination than his own city to spend this long weekend, since Monday is the holiday of October 12 in Spain, one of the dates with the highest traffic of travelers to places on the coast or second homes.
The confinement of Madrid has caused tensions between the central and regional governments which disputes national data and affirms that the epidemic in Madrid is subsiding and such drastic measures are not justified.
Merkel: “The battle will be played in the big cities”
In GermanyBerlin, and in particular its most central neighborhoods, are among the most affected areas and have been the first to apply restriction measures this week.
The German capital entered an unprecedented phase in this pandemic this Saturday with the de facto closure of nightlife throughout the capital: bars and restaurants They must close between eleven at night and six in the morning.
A new shock for Berlin’s nightlife, whose clubs and discos closed with the onset of the pandemic, during which spontaneous outdoor parties in parks and streets of the most nocturnal neighborhoods of the city.
Berlin on Friday exceeded the measure of the Robert Koch Institut (RKI), competent in the matter in the country, which knew that if there are more than 50 infections in 7 days per 100,000 inhabitants action must be taken. The capital has 52 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Frankfurt and Cologne are also above the 50s. The same is true in other districts of the land of North Rhine-Westphalia (west), the most populated in the country, and Baviera (on).
German experts and politicians agree that urban centers are the main problem, while the curve approaches the peak of infections that Germany registered between the end of March and the beginning of April: 6,000 daily.
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the mayors of the eleven main German cities on Friday recognized the challenge they face.
“We all know that cities and urban areas are now the scene where the pandemic in Germany is going to be seen can be kept under control or if control derails. At this point we are, “warned Merkel.
Merkel welcomed the restrictions adopted, although she said she was aware that “they are painful for many” and he appealed to young people to accept these sacrifices and to think that the increase in infections could end up affecting risk groups.
Moscow chooses to promote teleworking
In Russia, Moscow, where schools have been closed and the chronically ill and those over 65 have been confined, remains the epicenter of the pandemic with 4,501 cases and 35 deaths in 24 hours, over the 13,634 infections and 149 deaths detected throughout Russia.
During this week in the Russian capital 46% more cases have been registered than the previous one and 12% more hospitalizations, which has forced the establishment of several reserve hospitals.
The mayor of the Russian capital, Serguei Sobianin, has ordered that at least 30% of the workforce of each company work until October 28 at home and expressed concern with the overcrowding of public transport.
In addition, more than half a thousand cases were registered in the second city of the country, Saint Petersburg, where they also died 21 sick.
Prague adds more infections than all of neighboring Austria
In the Czech Republic, health authorities reported on Saturday that the level of coronavirus infections took a huge jump in 24 hours, more than 8,600 confirmed cases, making it proportionally the European country hardest hit by the pandemic. On Friday there were 8,618 new cases in the Central European country of about 10.7 million inhabitants.
In Prague the number of infections reached 1,386 cases, more than in the neighbor as a whole Austria, where 1,235 infections were announced on Saturday.
According to the calculations of Radio Prague, the level of infections in the Czech Republic is currently 14 times higher than its main neighbor, Germany.
Starting next Monday, a series of new restrictions will come into force in the country, such as the closure of public swimming pools.
Prohibition in Brussels and Edinburgh
The capital of Belgium and its region are also the epicenter of the current explosion of coronavirus cases in that country.
The cumulative incidence in Brussels is 502 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on average in the last 14 days. In the country as a whole it stands at 245.8 cases, an advance of 77% compared to the previous week.
Since October 8, Brussels has closed bars, cafes and party halls for a month. Restaurants may remain openHowever, amateur sporting events must be held without an audience and places of worship may accommodate a maximum of 100 people.
Brussels stands “on the podium (of the coronavirus) of the European capitals, between Madrid and Paris “said this week one of the spokespersons for the Belgian inter-federal team against the coronavirus, Yves Van Laethem.
The expert pointed out that the new measures do not imply having to “live like monks”, but to apply a sanitary discipline to be able to maintain “a social life” until the situation improves in “April or May”, according to his estimation.
The escalation of new infections in Belgium coincides with the worsening of the data also in neighboring countries such as France, Holland or Luxembourg.
On average, the Netherlands registered about 4,160 new cases per day last week, much more than the previous week, when the average was 2,893 daily infections. Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam top the list of places with the most contagion.
The closure of the bars has also been the option chosen by the Scottish Government. From this Friday and for two weeks, in five areas of central Scotland, including the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, hospitality establishments – including bars, pubs and restaurants – will be closed, less coffee shops that do not sell alcohol.
In the rest of Scotland, hospitality establishments have to close the service inside at 18:00 and they will not be able to offer alcohol, although they may have the terraces open, until 10:00 pm.