Swelling Cases Spur Fresh Restrictions in Europe

New virus restrictions across Europe are “absolutely necessary” amid an “exponential surge of coronavirus cases,” Hans Kluge, WHO Europe’s head, declared today.

Kluge mapped out sobering stats at a press briefing, the AP reports:

  • COVID-19 is now the 5th-leading cause of death in Europe
  • Europe recorded 1 million new cases in just 10 days

But: If 95% of Europeans wear masks and abide by distancing measures, Europe could avoid about 281,000 deaths by February.

A number of countries—including France, Germany, and Ireland—are ramping up restrictions, including a curfew in Paris and other major French cities, France24 reports. But hospitals are already getting overwhelmed: 

  • Exhausted French medics are demanding that President Macron to hire more medics. Reuters

  • The Czech Republic has to start building field hospitals;  hospitalizations shot up 161% in October—6 times the number seen during last spring’s peak—in the country with Europe’s highest number of new infections relative to population. Reuters

  • Health workers in northern England say they are “exhausted” and “frightened,” as their hopes that the population would have enough immunity to stave off a second wave fade. The Guardian
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