France and Germany are preparing to “harden” their devices to try to stem the second wave of COVID-19, following in the footsteps of other European countries like Italy, where dissatisfaction is growing over the measures more and more restrictive.
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With the idea of preparing a new turn of the screw on French territory, where a night curfew affecting a total of two thirds of the inhabitants is already in force, Emmanuel Macron chaired a defense council on Tuesday, while his Prime Minister Jean Castex was consulting on “the proposed hardening”.
“We must expect difficult decisions”, for his part warned the same day the French Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin.
It is that the circulation of the virus is “out of control”, estimated the infectious disease specialist Gilles Pialoux, calling for “to reconfigure the country”.
Comparable situation in Germany where several political leaders pleaded Tuesday also for a reinforcement of the measures, on the eve of a meeting of crisis.
“We must now take decisions quickly and in a determined way in order to break this second wave of contaminations,” insisted German Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Discussions between Angela Merkel’s government and regional leaders, originally scheduled for Friday, have been moved to Wednesday in this regard.
According to media reports, the Chancellor advocates the closure of restaurants and bars and a ban on public gatherings, while schools and nurseries would remain open.
The other EU states are on a similar path, such as the Czech Republic, which will impose a curfew from Wednesday to November 3 from 9:00 p.m. to 4:59 a.m.
As for the inhabitants of southern Sweden, they are now invited to limit contact and avoid public transport and closed places, health authorities announced on Tuesday.
And this at a time when, in Italy, the gatherings of exceeded people are now daily, thousands of them having even taken in the streets Monday evening, with violent incidents in Milan and Turin, the two big cities of the north of this country bruised by the health crisis in the spring.
Because some no longer believe it: in the small port city of Pesaro, not far from San Marino (east), the police intervened in a restaurant whose owner had invited 90 people to dinner to signify his refusal to comply with the rules enacted. “You can stop me, I won’t close anymore,” he blurted out.
“The fuse lit three days ago in Piazza Plebiscito in Naples has already spread the fire from one end of Italy to the other: Turin, Milan, Trieste, Lecce, Viareggio, Pescara, Catania, Cremona. Italy in revolt, “La Repubblica wrote on Tuesday.
The government has imposed in recent days a curfew in several large regions, the closure of bars and restaurants at 6 p.m., as well as that of sports halls, cinema and concerts.
Germany was one of the first European countries to show opposition to COVID-19-related restrictive measures as early as mid-April.
A mix of people calling themselves “free thinkers”, anti-vaccine activists, conspiracy activists, and far-right supporters are participating in these actions.
All are protesting against the “dictatorship” that they believe constitute the mechanisms put in place against the new coronavirus.
Their demonstrations gave rise to several outbursts testifying to radicalization.
In Spain, however, protests have remained marginal and peaceful since the start of the pandemic, despite one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in the spring.
They often bring together a few hundred people, such as Monday evening in Barcelona against the nighttime curfew decreed on Sunday throughout Spain, with the exception of the Canary Islands.
For their part, bloodless after having fought against the coronavirus for more than six months, the vast majority of Spanish public service doctors on Tuesday began a national strike, the first in 25 years, to demand more recognition.
Sporadic demonstrations also take place in Austria, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Russia, Quebec, Iran
The Russian authorities also announced on Tuesday an increase in their response to the coronavirus, with the obligation to wear a mask in public places and recommendations to limit nightlife.
The restrictive measures have also been extended in Quebec, the Canadian province most affected by the epidemic.
The United States for its part remains the country most affected, deploring more than 225,000 deaths in nearly nine million cases.
In Iran, the number of people who have died from the new coronavirus now exceeds 33,000, while daily death records and new infections have been broken, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
Globally, COVID-19 has claimed almost 1.2 million lives for more than 43.5 million recorded cases.
Fifa President Gianni Infantino has in turn learned he is positive.
Another worrying sign is that a British study released on Tuesday shows that the immunity acquired by people recovered from COVID-19 “wanes quite quickly”, especially in asymptomatic patients, and could only last a few months.
As for the economic consequences of the pandemic, they are more and more disastrous.
International tourist arrivals fell 70% globally in the first eight months of 2020 compared to the previous year, and the coronavirus crisis is expected to lower foreign direct investment (FDI) by 40% in 2020, said warned UN experts.