Merkel’s gloomy remarks came as countries across Europe quickly rallied to reimpose restrictions that were both unpopular and economically damaging, with governments and scientists reporting a record and ever-growing number of infections to across the continent.
As officials across Europe warn of a looming shortage of hospital beds and uncontrollable infections, the continent’s confirmed death toll has exceeded 250,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is part of ‘a global balance sheet of more than 1.1 million.
Italy, which imposed new curfews and closed gyms, swimming pools and cinemas, became the latest country to stage protests of anger – including clashes with police in Rome and Naples over the past weekend – urging Giuseppe Conte’s government to promise new financial assistance to businesses affected by the measures.
In France, The head of the scientific council that advises the government, Jean-François Delfraissy, said the actual number of infections in the country was probably double the official figure and nearly 100,000 per day.
“There are probably over 50,000 cases a day. We estimate, within the scientific committee, that we are more in the neighborhood of 100,000 cases per day ”, declared Delfraissy.
Although France declared a state of emergency this month and has imposed increasingly stringent restrictions since September, Dr Eric Caumes, head of the infections and tropical diseases department at the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital in Paris said the country had to lock down again, adding the virus was “out of control.”
“We have lost control of the epidemic but it is not new,” he told France Info. “We lost control of the epidemic several weeks ago.”
Elsewhere, the situation was relentlessly grim, as a series of countries reported record increases and fears about the spread of the virus.
In Spain, which was the first country to report more than a million cases of the disease, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the country was facing an “extreme” situation as he announced a new state of emergency on Sunday, imposing nightly local curfews and banning travel between regions in some cases.
Belgians were also told they were facing a pivotal week in the fight to limit the spread of the coronavirus, as a series of new restrictions took effect in one of the European countries hardest hit by the pandemic, an official suggesting that hospital beds would be completely filled within 15 days.
Pressure is mounting on hospitals across the country, where an average of 467 people are admitted each day, an increase of 85%. Nearly 5,000 people have been admitted, including more than 750 in intensive care, according to the latest data.
“What we do now, what we will do in the next two weeks will be decisive,” said Yves Van Laethem, spokesperson for the Belgian crisis center Covid-19. If the numbers don’t change, he says, “we’ll probably reach 2,000 intensive care patients in two weeks. This is our maximum capacity. “
Norway also announced that it would impose tougher measures to fight the coronavirus following a recent rise in the number of infections, including stricter rules on private gatherings, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Monday.
Outside of Europe, similar trends are evident in many other countries, including Iran, where there are warnings that hospitals in some provinces may be overwhelmed.
Mexican Health officials acknowledged on Sunday that the country’s actual death toll from the coronavirus pandemic was much higher than previously thought, saying there were 193,170 ‘excess’ deaths in the year until September 26, including 139,153 of those found to be attributable to Covid-19. This is about 50,000 more deaths than Mexico’s official test-confirmed death toll of about 89,000, and about 56% more than the previous estimate of 103,882 deaths from a pandemic.
From russia The daily tally of new Covid-19 cases climbed to a record high of 17,347 on Monday as the Kremlin said the pandemic began to claim more lives outside the capital, Moscow.
Authorities say Russia has enough hospital beds and medicines to fight the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “extremely vigorous” efforts by federal and regional governments were needed to deal with the rising number of cases.