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