Intensive care units in hospitals are now beginning to fill with very ill people
WHO: Europe’s Covid-19 daily deaths rise by nearly 40%
World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Europe’s daily Covid-19 deaths rose by nearly 40% compared with the previous week.
WHO spokeswoman Dr Margaret Harris warned “The concern… is that intensive care units in hospitals are now beginning to fill with very ill people” .
She added, France, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands and Russia accounted for the majority of cases which increased by a third.
Meanwhile, Russia reported a daily record of 320 deaths, pushing the count to 26,589.
Russia has the world’s fourth highest number of coronavirus cases after the US, India and Brazil. It recorded another 16,550 infections on Tuesday, and authorities have now made the wearing of face cover compulsory in all crowded places.
Italy has witnessed a sharp increase too, with 221 deaths declared in the past 24 hours. The total number of fatalities in Austria went above 1,000 on Tuesday. While infections surged to almost 22,000 in the past 24 hours, officials said testing had also been ramped up. Protests took place in towns and cities across Italy on Monday evening against new round of restrictions to stop the spread of infections.
And in Belgium, doctors have been asked to keep working, even if they are infected, because the health system is in danger of being overwhelmed by cases allover the country.
Dr Margaret Harris (WHO) said that European continent is struggling with an intense and alarming increase in cases and deaths.
WHO spokesman said daily cases rose by a third compared with the previous week, while daily deaths increased by “close to 40%”.
“Despite better management of hospital capacity, hospitals in several countries are filling up fast,” she warned.
Dr Harris said the effectiveness of new restrictions imposed in a number European nations could only be analysed in two weeks’ time because of “the lag”.
“We will see the reduction in cases, but you don’t see it overnight,” the WHO spokeswoman said.
She commented on the second wave, “We’re going to see a different sort of peak”.
“The good news is our hospitals are much better at understanding what’s going on here, but the reverse of that is in gaining that experience they’ve been working incredibly hard for a very long time and they also know that what they are going to face is going to be grim.
“The other good thing in a sense is that the very large numbers we’re seeing are in groups that ideally won’t progress to the more severe illness – that’s the younger groups. But that’s not a guarantee.
“Those two factors suggest that we may not see the terrible rise in deaths that we saw in April,” Dr Harris said.
New restrictions in Russia
From Wednesday, face covers will be mandatory in all crowded areas including public transport, taxis, car parks and lifts, public health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said. Regional authorities will have responsibility for applying the new rules.
In addition, Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova recommendation was an overnight curfew for bars, restaurants and other public venues, increased efforts to disinfect public transport, taxis and public spaces.
In total, Russia’s tally is more than 1.5 million infections and 26,589 deaths, according to national figures, even so they have declared “victory” over Covid-19 but it’s now seeing a fresh surge in cases and a record number of deaths.
Russia has been reluctant to reintroduce significant restrictions. President Putin recently assured businesses that there would be no, new national lockdown – to protect the economy as far as possible.
But the latest steps – enforcing face masks and recommending an overnight curfew, reports from Russia’s provinces about hospitals running out of beds, overflowing morgues and overworked doctors.
In Moscow, more than 1,000 daily Covid patients are admitted to hospital. But the facemask rules in the capital have already been tightened, and bar-goers already have to register their phones. City officials say the rate of new infections has been slowing, so they won’t force venues to implement the new curfew – or close “any sectors of the economy” – for now.
Elsewhere in Europe
In Italy, a protest against new restrictions in Turin city ended in police firing tear gas at protesters on Monday evening. Clashes were also reported in Milan. People’s frustration against the closures of restaurants, bars, gyms and cinemas from 18:00 since last Friday.
In France, the government is discussing stricter measures – including extending curfews already in place in Paris and other cities. On Tuesday the country reported 33,417 new infections and 523 new deaths over the previous 24 hours – the highest daily death toll since April.
Belgium has seen an 88% rise in new infections admitted in hospitals, with officials warning that half of intensive care beds are busy. Ten hospitals have asked medics to continue working, although they’ve tested positive but shown no symptoms.
UK’s Imperial College London researchers say immunity against Covid-19 may only last a few months after infection. They say the number of people testing positive for antibodies fell by about a quarter between June and September, with the biggest drop in those over 65.
The Czech Republic has implemented a night-time curfew, which came into effect on Tuesday for a week. No-one is allowed to leave their home between 21:00 and 04:59 except to travel to and from work, for medical reasons or a few other exceptions.
Slovakia is to start testing its entire population from this weekend to try to avoid harsher anti-coronavirus measures.