Saturday, October 17, 2020

'On the brink of disaster': Europe's Covid fight takes a turn for the worse

 As France imposes curfews, even countries that previously managed well are struggling badly.

 A couple walks on a deserted street at night on the Butte Montmartre in Paris. Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images

Jon Henley
The Guardian

“It’s not a word I’ve heard in a long, long time,” an elderly Paris resident said, leaving her apartment in mask and gloves for an early expedition to the shops. “A curfew. That’s for wartime, isn’t it? But in a way I suppose that’s what this is.”

Europe’s second coronavirus wave took a dramatic turn for the worse this week, forcing governments across the continent to make tough choices as more than a dozen countries reported their highest ever number of new infections.

In France, 18 million people in nine big cities risk a fine from Saturday if they are not at home by 9pm. In the Czech Republic, schools have closed and medical students are being enlisted to help doctors. All Dutch bars and restaurants are shut.

Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland are among countries to have broken daily case records, prompting the World Health Organization to call for an “uncompromising” effort to stem the spread.

Unfortunately, that requires making all but impossible compromises.  Read more >>