England to lock down once more as virus surges in Europe
Under the new lockdown, the English population will have to stay at home unless exceptions apply, e.g. B. for work, education or exercise, while all shops but the most important ones are closed
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new four-week coronavirus lockdown in England, which, along with several European countries, will impose the measure for the second time as Slovakia has taken a different route and started testing its entire population.
Global infections are rapidly approaching 46 million with nearly 1.2 million deaths, and Europe is seeing a staggering increase in Covid-19 cases.
Pressurized governments across the continent are trying to contain the outbreaks, and the reintroduction of restrictions sparked widespread outrage and sometimes violent protests.
“Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative,” said Johnson. “We have to be humble in the face of nature. In this country, as in large parts of Europe, the virus is unfortunately spreading even faster than in the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisors.”
As part of the new lockdown, which is scheduled to start Thursday and end on December 2nd, the English population will have to stay at home unless there are exceptions, e.g. B. for work, education or exercise, while all shops but the most important ones are closed.
The decentralized governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already imposed partial bans.
Infections in the UK rose to over a million on Saturday.
Just minutes after Johnson, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced a partial lockdown that would see 70 percent of the population returning under restrictions.
World map showing the number of Covid-19 deaths by country as of October 31 at 1100 GMT
Also on Saturday, Austria introduced a second suspension of their own, while Greece declared a partial suspension. The new measures came just a day after France launched its second lockdown and Belgium announced that it would tighten its measures.
Italy has also already reintroduced some restrictions.
This time there were sometimes violent protests against the measures in Europe.
“This city is going to go broke. There will be nothing left of it,” said Roger Stenson, a 73-year-old retiree in Nottingham, ahead of the UK lockdown announcement, reiterating widespread concerns about the economic impact.
“You know, closed stores … there just won’t be any more of it, that’s the problem.”
“I can’t vote for this man”
The United States remains the hardest-hit country in the world, with 9.1 million infections, more than 230,000 deaths, and new spikes in many parts of the vast nation.
In Slovakia, the government decided to look at other European countries differently and to test their total population of 5.4 million people
Covid-19 was one of the dominant campaign topics ahead of the November 3rd presidential election. Millions of jobs have been lost and Donald Trump has been heavily criticized for handling the pandemic.
Trump himself got Covid-19, as did members of his family and employees, but he criticized lockdown measures regarding their economic impact, downsized the wearing of masks by his Democratic challenger Joe Biden and, despite warnings, organized rallies with thousands of supporters at the risk of the Transmission.
The president has accused the media of covering up the threat from the virus, but with tens of millions of Americans suffering from the pandemic, some voters seem to be looking for an alternative.
This includes Kimberly McLemore, a 56-year-old from Florida who didn’t see Trump taking the pandemic seriously.
“I can’t vote for this man in good conscience,” the lifelong Republican told AFP, adding that her two parents, who are in their eighties, also voted for Biden – the first time they have voted for a Democrat .
Covid-19 was one of the dominant campaign topics ahead of the US presidential election. Millions of jobs have been lost and Trump has been heavily criticized for dealing with the pandemic
Humanitarian workers fear that another spike in novel coronavirus cases could be disastrous in northwest Syria, where nearly 1.5 million people live in overcrowded camps or shelters
“End our misery”
With no vaccine yet available, governments have limited tools to counter the spread of the virus.
In Slovakia, the government decided to look at other European countries differently and to test their entire population of 5.4 million people. Prime Minister Igor Matovic described the strategy as “the EU nation’s path to freedom”.
However, there are fewer opportunities in the less privileged parts of the world with little or no infrastructure and resources.
In north-western Syria, where around 1.5 million people displaced by the war are living in overcrowded camps or shelters with poor access to running water, some feel they have no chance.
“We are afraid of the disease, but we don’t dare to go,” said the 80-year-old Ghatwa al-Mohommad.
“We are so confused about what to do. If only God would let us die and end our misery.”
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© 2020 AFP
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