Those affected include the European political class. Polish President Andrzej Duda tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, according to a tweet from Presidential Minister Blazej Spychalski on Saturday. Duda’s diagnosis comes as the country reported 13,632 new cases on Friday, the highest daily tally since the start of the pandemic. The case tally was more than 50% higher than Monday’s 7,482 cases.
“The second wave affected the whole of Europe equally,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday.
The five countries with the highest infection rate in the world are all in Europe, according to the latest moving averages from Johns Hopkins University, analyzed by CNN.
The most affected countries are the Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and France.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday warned his country had to live with the virus for the long term.
“When I listen to scientists and the Scientific Council, we anticipate [living with the virus] at best until next summer, ”Macron said during a visit to a health center.
Macron added that his government aims to impose new restrictions on coronaviruses in a targeted manner.
On the same day, France reported 42,032 new cases in 24 hours, a new record, according to the French Health Agency. About 46 million people in the country are subject to a nighttime coronavirus curfew in France.
The situation in neighboring Spain is less dramatic but the country’s daily average remains high, standing at 299 per million on October 19.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez pleaded with the public to limit their mobility and help fight a second wave, during a speech on Friday.
“The next few weeks, the months will be hard, very hard,” Sanchez said, adding that while Spain has officially registered over a million cases, he estimates the real number to be over 3 million.
The Spanish regions of Castile and Leon and Valencia have announced their intention to impose a nighttime curfew in the coming days. The region of Andalusia has also requested a curfew for the city of Granada.
Political scandal in the Czech Republic
A daily record of cases was also set in the Czech Republic, which exceeded 15,000 new cases in 24 hours for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Deaths in the country increased by 126 to a total of 1,971 dead. The country is the most affected country in Europe, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Meanwhile, the country’s Health Minister Roman Prymula is embroiled in a political scandal after he was pictured leaving a restaurant in Prague on Wednesday evening, just days after announcing a strict lockdown.
Restaurants in the Czech Republic have been closed for table service since Wednesday, October 14, so the minister’s actions have broken the rules.
Prymula said on Friday that he knew the owner of the restaurant, who allowed him to sit in a private lounge for coffee.
He refused to resign, despite pressure from the country’s prime minister to do so. Prime Minister Andrej Babis said earlier that he would fire Prymula if he did not resign.
The EU has sent 30 ventilators to the Czech Republic as officials act to control the second wave.
“The Czech Republic is going through a difficult period. The number of coronavirus cases is increasing. Hospitals need medical supplies. The EU is here to help, ”European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday.
Italian governors call for lockdown
In Italy, local governors are calling for tougher restrictions on coronaviruses, with some fearing a repeat of the spring wave. Italy was one of the worst affected countries in Europe in March.
The country reported a daily toll of infections on Friday, with 16,079 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours.
Italy’s health ministry also reported 136 Covid-related deaths and 66 other intensive care patients, bringing the national total to 992.
Campania Governor Vincenzo De Luca has called for a nationwide lockdown and announced he will shut down the region “for 30 to 40 days” to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“Put bluntly clear, I don’t want to end up in front of military trucks carrying hundreds of coffins,” De Luca said in a video message Friday.
“Current data on infection make any kind of partial measure ineffective. ”
The governor of Lombardy, Attilio Fontana, called the autumn wave a “dramatic situation”.
The Italian government has so far resisted a nationwide lockdown. “A lockdown can be avoided if swift, urgent and strong action is taken now,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Thursday.
CNN’s Fanny Bobille, Valentina Di Donato, Tim Lister, Claudia Rebaza, Tomas Etzler and Jennifer Hauser contributed to this report.