After several weeks with Spain at the head of the countries hardest hit in Europe by the COVID-19 pandemic, the second wave of coronavirus advances relentlessly on the continent and more and more states are tighten restrictions on their territories to try to stop the spread of the disease, while they see how the cases do not stop growing.
This Tuesday, the Netherlands has declared a “partial confinement” for four weeks, Italy has registered its highest number of daily cases since March and France prepares new restrictions, while Spain walks towards the million positives recorded since the official beginning of the pandemic after reaching 896,086 infections.
“Partial confinement” in the Netherlands
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Tuesday the declaration of a “partial confinement” for four weeks in the Netherlands, because “it is the only way” to stop the second wave of coronavirus, after registering 43,904 new positives last week and becoming the third worst country in the EU.
Rutte has acknowledged in a press conference that this measure, which comes into force on Wednesday night, “hurts” the affected sectors and society, and has announced that this includes the closing of bars and restaurants, the prohibition of the sale of alcohol and drugs after 8:00 p.m. and the “obligation” to use masks indoors.
Also, you can have a maximum of “three guests in a house per day” and amateur group sports are prohibited (Not so the professional, which will continue to be held, but without an audience), a measure to also reduce the use of public transport.
The announcement comes on the same day that the Netherlands has communicated the death from the effects of reinfection by COVID-19 of an 89-year-old Dutch woman, aggravated by a rare form of bone marrow cancer that she suffered, and becomes the first known death from a reinfection of coronavirus.
Italy, maximum number of daily infections since March
Italy has registered 5,901 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the highest figure since the end of March, and the dead have risen to 41, according to the bulletin issued this Tuesday by the Ministry of Health. This maximum occurs on the same day that the Government has approved a new decree with restrictions to contain contagions, triggered in recent days.
Among the new rules are the closing before midnight of public establishments, such as bars and restaurants, and at 9:00 p.m. in case they do not have table service in order to avoid crowds of people who drink standing in the streets.
The Italian Prime Minister, Giusseppe Conte, has asked the country to respect these rules to stop the advance of the pandemic and has stressed: “The new rules will involve sacrifices but we are convinced that by respecting them we will be able to face this phase adequately. Our objective is very clear: avoid a generalized confinement to the country“.
France prepares new restrictions
French President Emmanuel Macron, with his Government, is preparing new restrictive measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which may include some type of night curfew -at 8:00 pm or 10:00 pm- in Paris and some of the most affected cities.
The range of possible measures is wide open, after Prime Minister Jean Castex insisted this morning that “nothing can be excluded when you see the situation of hospitals “when asked about the possibility of imposing local confinements.
Macron will intervene on television at 8:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday, during prime time, to announce the new provisions and appeal to the responsibility of citizens to stop the advance of the pandemic.
Cases and restrictions on the rise in Belgium
New cases continue to advance in Belgium, which already has an average cumulative incidence of 423 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, and 801 in Brussels, while the alarm signals multiply and the restrictions are increasing.
The epidemiological situation in Belgium is especially acute in the southern region of Wallonia, where the provinces of Walloon Brabant and Luxembourg begin to apply a curfew from 1 to 6 in the morning, and in Brussels, where the positivity rate is 18.6% compared to the average 11.1% in the country as a whole.
Germany will continue with restrictions
The number of new daily infections has exceeded 4,000 cases in Germany on Tuesday, amid a heated debate over the prohibition of some regional powers to travelers from risk areas of the country of spend the night in their territory. With 4,122 cases in 24 hours, the Teutons have observed a clear rebound compared to 2,467 on Monday, although this evolution is considered normal, given that data compilation slows down in some regions at the weekend.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), competent in the field, has warned that even when a vaccine is available restrictions must be maintained in public life, both in individual and collective behavior.
Russia, maximum of cases, and Czech Republic, in the lead
Russia has registered a new maximum of daily COVID-19 infections with 13,868 cases in the last 24 hours, in which there have been 244 deaths, as reported by the country’s health authorities. Despite the large increase in the number of cases in recent weeks, the government of Vladimir Putin is reluctant to adopt strict measures at the national level, such as confining the population or paralyzing certain economic activities.
In the case of the Czech Republic, it has gone from a showcase for Europe in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, with negligible infection rates in spring, to to top the ranking of infections in autumn, something that experts attribute to the unpredictability and populism of politicians.
With a rate of accumulated infections in the last two weeks of 493.1 per 100,000 inhabitants, it is far ahead of Belgium (402.5) and Spain (308.1). Those responsible are concerned that the hospital system may collapse In the coming weeks with COVID-19 patients, since of the nearly 60,000 current positives, more than 2,100 are hospitalized -this figure has doubled so far this month-, with 438 in serious condition.