France, Germany impose fresh lockdowns to curb corona

30 October, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BERLIN: France announced a full nationwide lockdown for the second time this year and German officials imposed a partial four-week lockdown on Wednesday, as governments across Europe sought to stop a fast-rising tide of coronavirus cases, reports AP.

The World Health Organization says the European region — which includes Russia, Turkey, Israel and Central Asia, according to its definition — accounted for almost half of the 2.8 million new coronavirus cases reported globally last week. The UN health agency said virus-related deaths were also on the rise in Europe, with about a 35% spike since the previous week, as well as hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

The European Union, Britain, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland alone accounted for 1.1 million cases over the past seven days, she said, “and we expect this number to keep rising in the next two to three weeks, and rapidly.”

German officials have agreed to a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters and other leisure facilities in a bid to curb a sharp rise in coronavirus infections, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Merkel and the country’s 16 state governors, who are responsible for imposing and easing restrictions, agreed on the partial lockdown in a videoconference. It is set to take effect on Monday and last until the end of November.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a second nationwide lockdown from midnight Thursday until Dec. 1, but said schools would remain open.