MILAN (AP) – Doctors warn that Europe is at a turning point as coronavirus rises back across the continent, including among vulnerable people, and governments are trying to impose restrictions without shutting down the whole economy.
With newly confirmed cases reaching the record, the Czech Republic has closed schools and built a hospital in the field, Poland has limited time restaurants and closed gyms and schools, and France is planning a 9 p.m. night curfew in Paris and other major cities. In Britain, authorities close pubs and bars in areas in the north of the country, while imposing social restrictions on London and other parts of the country.
“This is a serious situation that should not be underestimated. It is serious at the European level,”; Italian health minister Roberto Speranza said on Friday.
Europe is not alone in seeing the resurrection. In the United States, new cases per day rise to 44 states, and deaths per day rise to 30.
“If we can’t cope with this, we could end up in a situation that is more difficult to control,” Bertrand Levrat, head of Switzerland’s largest hospital complex, told The Associated Press. “We’re really at a turn point – things can go the same way.”
But while officials are sounding the alarm in rising cases, they are also wary of imposing stricter lockdowns across the country that will ruin their economy this spring. Instead, they try more targeted restrictions.
France puts in 12,000 extra police to implement the new curfew; Saturday night is the first time the establishments have been forced to close at 9 pm Restaurants, cinemas and movie theaters are trying to figure out how to survive the forced early closure.
Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot told the newspaper in Le Parisien that she was negotiating for exceptions to a one-month curfew across the Paris region and eight other metropolitan areas.
A movie theater will start opening at 8 a.m. in the hope of ending the night’s losses. Since restaurants in Paris are generally open at 7 or 7:30 pm for dinner, some may close altogether as it is no longer financially reasonable to stay open for a short transfer.
“The world of French culture is invincible, it needs help,” filmmaker and producer Yoann Sfar, who has a new film coming out, told RTL radio on Friday.
Italy, the first country outside Asia to detect local transmission of the virus, has banned pickup sports and public gatherings after health officials say the resurrection has reached a “critical stage.” following a period of relative grace after particularly strict confinement.
Speranza, the health minister, told reporters that any new measures in Italy, including a curfew, need to be “carefully considered.” But the governor of Campania, who survived the spring but saw the infections rise, called for rapid action, saying the area around Naples was the densest population in the country and therefore increasingly vulnerable.
“Half a step doesn’t matter,” Vincenzo de Luca said in a Facebook video. He has already announced the closure of schools for the rest of the month, against the will of Rome and the protests of the parents.
Massimo Galli, director of infectious diseases at the Luigi Sacco hospital in Milan, said the influx of Italy – which hit the highly pandemic new daily infections this week – was not the result of a record trial, as suggested by policy makers, but a sign of real return among the population at risk of serious illness if infected.
This is a worrying trend because an increasing number of serious cases have the potential to sink hospitals, and it is a sight to behold in other countries on the continent as many see higher numbers than in Italy.
France, Spain and Britain have recorded more than 300 infections per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks, compared to the speed of 106 but relatively low.
The Czech Republic reports more than 700 people are infected per 100,000, and the country’s military will begin building a field hospital in the Prague exhibition center over the weekend – a reminder of the dark days of spring many countries have set up temporary facilities to alleviate the pressure of excessive medical. centers. The government is also negotiating with neighboring Germany and several other countries for Czechs to be treated abroad if the health system fails to handle them.
In Italy, Milan is the center of the resurrection, and it also sees its hospitals struggling. The COVID-19 ward of Sacco was the first in the city to start filling up.
“We have a situation reminiscent of a somewhat disturbing one we have already experienced,” Galli told The Associated Press, referring to the peak in March and April when Italy reached its record of 969 deaths a day. The country recorded 83 deaths on Thursday – twice the previous days, but far earlier.
Already in Milan, Galli said the number of elderly patients or those with other risk factors is growing, indicating that the virus has moved beyond its initial outbreak in September, where most cases are mild or asymptomatically caught screening and tracking.
Since then, mixing with families, within companies, and with students outside the school has intensified the spread of weaker people, he said, renewing pressure on Milan hospitals.
“The trend is already there, and it’s openly alarming,” he said, though he said not all Italians are still experiencing a surge.
But that, he said, could be just a matter of time. Galli said Italy would “follow in the footsteps Europa of Europe’s neighbors unless the delivery chain is blocked for the next two weeks.
Galli fears new restrictions across the country over the past two weeks – including mandatory outdoor masks, banning of pickup sports games with friends and closing the restaurant at midnight – are not enough. He called for more restrictions on public transportation and leisure activities if the authorities want to avoid another lockdown – both bad for the economy and social fabric.
As Italy’s spring lockdown buys it more time, Galli said the current resurgence shows “how quickly there is a risk of ruining the results of even a very good and very important intervention.”
Charlton reported from Paris.
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