Europe, facing a powerful second wave, passed 250,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday.
With more than 8,000 deaths recorded in seven days, Europe has experienced its heaviest death toll in a week since mid-May and many countries are trying to protect themselves by increasing health measures.
The last European country to announce measures on Sunday, Switzerland, relatively untouched by the first wave of spring, but faced with an “exponential” increase in cases, makes it compulsory from Monday to wear a mask in closed public places, stations, airports, bus and tram stops, restricts gatherings and recommends telecommuting.
Deploring 1,822 deaths from COVID-19 for 8.6 million inhabitants, Switzerland is the country in Europe where the disease has progressed the fastest last week (+ 146%).
Slovakia has announced a campaign to screen all people over the age of 10. In the Czech Republic, where the highest rate of infection and death per 100,000 mainland residents is reported, the government has asked the military to build a 500-bed field hospital outside of Prague.
Italy, already hard hit in the spring, reported 10,010 new cases on Friday, its all-time high. The Italian government decided on Sunday to mobilize an additional 39 billion euros to support its economy.
We can’t waste time
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Sunday evening a new series of measures to stem the resurgence of the disease, including restrictions on bar-restaurants and the extension of teleworking.
“We cannot waste time. We must implement measures to avoid a new generalized confinement which could seriously endanger the economy, ”explained Mr. Conte.
Thus, restaurants will have to close their doors no later than midnight and accommodate a maximum of six people per table, bars will have to close at 6 p.m. if they are unable to provide table service.
100 days of confinement
In Israel, after a month of restrictions, nurseries, preschools, national parks, beaches and non-public businesses have reopened, and Israelis can now travel more than a kilometer from their homes. However, gatherings remain limited.
In Australia, the five million inhabitants of Melbourne, the country’s second city confined for more than 100 days, have been able since Sunday to leave their homes for more than two hours a day and to travel up to 25 km away, to make sport, buy basic necessities and work in professions deemed essential.
Daniel Andrews, Prime Minister of the state of Victoria where Melbourne is located, however rejected a lifting of the other restrictions, citing further easing on 1is November if the epidemic remains under control.
These few local improvements do not reverse the global trend: the indicators are red. At least 1,111,152 deaths and more than 39.7 million infections have been recorded since the start of the pandemic, according to an AFP count.
The United States is the most bereaved country (at least 219,289 dead), followed by Brazil (153,675 dead) and India (114,031 dead).
To fight the pandemic, frequent hand washing is essential, confirms a Japanese study, according to which the coronavirus survives nine hours on the skin, five times longer than the flu.