Covid-19: Europe imposes new restrictions as cases reach record high
‘The facts don’t lie, we have to be stricter for ourselves’: The Netherlands goes into partial lockdown
The Great American Eclipse
European governments are adding new restrictions and calling on citizens to make sacrifices in a bid to contain a record increase in coronavirus cases, with the Czech Republic closing schools and the Netherlands shutting down virtually all nighttime activity.
Around the world cases of the coronavirus topped 38 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Saying measures needed to stop the virus “will hurt,” Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte announced what he called a “partial lockdown” on Tuesday evening, with sales of alcohol to be banned after 8 pm and bars, restaurants and coffee shops to be closed altogether. Citizens are being urged to avoid public transportation where possible.
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UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced that bars and pubs will be closed in the worst-hit parts of England beginning Wednesday, even as his top health adviser warned that won’t be enough. While the opposition Labour Party called for a short lockdown to halt the contagion, Mr Johnson told Conservative lawmakers on a Zoom call Tuesday that he’s against a new nationwide lockdown, people familiar with the meeting said.
Germany’s new coronavirus cases increased at their fastest pace since the height of the pandemic in the latest sign of how Europe is struggling to keep the disease in check. The region’s largest economy will evaluate its own next steps on Wednesday.
“I’m watching with great concern the climbing infection numbers, actually in almost every part of Europe,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday in a virtual address to regional European Union officials. “We cannot squander what we’ve achieved in the last few months.”
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Europe recorded 700,000 new cases last week, the most since the pandemic began, the World Health Organisation said in its latest report. But rather than reviving national restrictions, officials are focusing on local measures amid concerns about hammering economies again and sparking unrest.
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“We need to be really careful right now,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation’s health emergencies program, said Monday. The relationship between case numbers and deaths “could reconnect very, very badly and very catastrophically unless we’re very, very careful.”
Perhaps the biggest domestic threat to the 3% growth scenario would be a surprisingly swift hike in interest rates, but from all indications a dovish Federal Reserve is unlikely to take aggressive action in 2015.
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Legislators in neighbouring Slovakia quarrelled over virus measures, with premier Igor Matovic calling economy minister Richard Sulik a “saboteur” after the latter publicly questioned a decision to ban indoor serving of food and drinks in restaurants. Relations in the coalition have been fragile since elections seven months ago and Mr Matovic’s ratings have dropped as people blame him for an inadequate response to the pandemic.
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday imposed new measures including ordering bars and restaurants to close by midnight, banning people from gathering outside them from 9pm, and limiting receptions for events such as weddings and baptisms to 30 people.
纽约前市长迈克尔·R·布隆伯格(Michael R. Bloomberg)正在为抗击气候变化花费自己私人财产的数千万美元，他在一份声明中说，“全球气温稳步上升、如今破纪录地上升的问题，不是一个未来的问题。这是一个迫在眉睫的明显危险，对经济、健康、环境和地缘政治有重大的危害。”
After putting six cities including Paris on maximum alert, French president Emmanuel Macron may announce additional restrictions during a planned television appearance on Wednesday.
“Alas, the epidemic continues its ascent,” health minister Olivier Veran said during parliamentary question time. “This wave of hospitalisations that has started is worrisome.” – Bloomberg