Europe now has more than 7.2 million confirmed cases of the virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and hospitalizations are increasing at a worrying rate.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson on Tuesday called the rise in cases in Europe “out of control,” even when compared to the United States, the country with the highest number of cases, at 7.9 million.
The French government declared a state of public health emergency on Wednesday as the country saw Covid-19 hospitalizations jump above the 9,100 threshold for the first time since June 25, Reuters reported. New confirmed cases of coronavirus in France reached 22,591 on Wednesday, according to public health data, compared to 12,993 cases the day before. The state of emergency gives officials more power to deal with the spread of Covid-19.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced later on Wednesday that nine of the country’s largest cities, including Paris, will have to adhere to a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. It starts on Saturday, will last for four weeks and means residents of those towns will not be allowed to go out between these hours, except in exceptional circumstances. ” We need to act. We need to stop the spread of the virus, ”Macron said.
Germany toughens the rules
Germany also announced new rules after Chancellor Angela Merkel met with regional leaders on Wednesday to discuss outbreaks of infection in parts of the country; German states may decide on their own strategy to curb the rise in cases, which has led to variations in the rules from state to state.
Summarizing the complex criteria for the measures, economist Greg Fuzesi of JPMorgan said municipalities must now tighten restrictions if new infections exceed 35 per 100,000 for seven days. In that case, private gatherings should be limited to 25 in public spaces and 15 in private spaces, he said in a note Thursday, and states should “enforce additional mask wearing requirements. , to implement earlier closing times in bars / restaurants, and to impose limits on the number of participants in public events. ”
If new infections exceed 50 per 100,000 inhabitants for seven days, a municipality should limit social gatherings to 10 people and impose a mandatory closing time of 11 p.m. for bars and restaurants. Germans are discouraged from vacationing in areas susceptible to viruses and some states have banned tourists from traveling to areas of the country with high infection rates.
Infections are increasing in Germany to such an extent that Shepherdson said the country has “lost control of Covid cases”. Daily new infections topped 5,000 earlier this week and the public health body, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 6,638 new cases on Thursday.
UK plans second lockdown
The UK government introduced a new Covid-19 alert level system earlier this week, with the city of Liverpool and its suburbs designated as ‘very high’ risk and subject to strict local lockdown. Households in the area are not allowed to mix indoors or out, and gyms, recreation centers, betting shops and casinos are closed. Pubs and bars must also close, unless they are serving food.
The more stringent measures could now be extended to other parts of northern England, including Manchester. City mayor Andy Burnham said he was meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s team on Thursday morning to discuss the way forward.
Johnson is under pressure to go further to curb the spread of the virus, with government science advisers pushing for a second nationwide lockdown, albeit a shorter, two-week shutdown, to act as a ‘circuit breaker’ to stop the spread . Opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer on Tuesday added his support for calls for a lockdown. The UK reported 19,724 new cases on Wednesday, up from 17,234 on Tuesday.
The feeling is deteriorating
Coronavirus concerns weighed on market sentiment on Thursday as investors react to the situation.
Deutsche Bank strategists led by Jim Reid said Wednesday’s developments reflected “unfortunately another day of bad news outside of Europe,” and warned that Italy was also seeing a sharp increase in cases, after to have fallen behind its neighbors to see a second wave.
“With Italy reporting a record number of cases of 7,332 (albeit with much higher testing levels now than in March), the increase in the number of cases makes it more in line with the recent increase that we’ve seen in the UK and France in recent weeks, although Italy’s numbers still remain at lower levels in comparison, ”he said in a note Thursday.