In response to the sustained rise in infections, Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week announced strict lockdown measures that are expected to take effect Monday for four weeks in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. During this period, rrestaurants, bars, sporting and cultural venues will be closed and there will be limits to public and private gatherings.
As parts of Europe see an increase in COVID-19 cases and several countries return to partial lockdowns, the European Commission has agreed to make € 220 million available to help European Union member states to carry out the cross-border transfer of patients.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday called on EU countries to improve cooperation in their responses to the pandemic, which has claimed more than 210,000 lives across the continent.
France: On Friday, France’s 65 million people entered a second lockdown as daily infections crossed 90,000 people. For next month, people will be confined to an area one kilometer from their homes, requiring written permission to leave except to shop for groceries or go to school.
All non-essential businesses will be closed and people will have to work from home if possible. Residents face a fine of € 135 ($ 157) for violation.
UK: Another two million people are subject to the government’s highest level of restrictions to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The region of West Yorkshire in northern England will be subject to level 3 restrictions from Monday, city officials said.
Most pubs and some businesses will close and people will not be able to meet indoors with members of other households.
Japan: Coronavirus cases topped 100,000, nine months after the first case was discovered in mid-January, the health ministry said on Friday. The country reached that level after confirming 808 new cases on Thursday.
The country was in a state of emergency in April and May and experienced a less severe second wave in August but has so far managed to avoid the “explosive” infections seen in Europe and the United States without imposing a lockdown. Some experts believe this is in part due to the common use of face masks and disinfectants.
Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday it was “crazy” for countries to start blocking again to control the second resurgence of the virus. Parts of Latin America see their biggest single-day gain in recent weeks.
the United States Thursday, exceeded 90,000 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours for the first time. The country, which is battling a resurgence of the COVID-19 epidemic, recorded 91,295 cases on Thursday. The total number of cases in the United States since the start of the pandemic is 8.94 million. More than 228,600 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, more than in any other country.
kmm, dvv/ alw (AFP, AP, Reuters)