Countries across Europe are reporting record numbers of new Covid-19 cases as hospital stays and intensive care units increase. In the meantime, new lockdown restrictions will be introduced in some parts of the continent this week. Here’s what you need to know:
Greece will initiate a three-week national lockdown from Saturday after nearly 10,000 new coronavirus cases emerged in just five days, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday. He said the exponential increase in coronavirus cases and the increase in hospitalizations and patients in intensive care units made this drastic measure necessary.
England’s new lockdown began at midnight as the country struggled to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Across the UK, health officials have so far recorded more than 1.1 million coronavirus cases and 47,000 virus-related deaths, according to a record by Johns Hopkins University. It has the fifth highest number of deaths in the world.
Poland set another daily record for coronavirus infections on Thursday: 27,143 new infections in one day and 367 deaths. The total number of infections in Poland has reached 466,679, the death toll is currently 6,842. On Saturday, Poland will put further restrictions on schools and businesses to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Germany has reported 19,990 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the country’s disease control and prevention agency announced on Thursday – the highest number of days since the pandemic began. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the associated death toll also rose by 118. Germany was partially closed on Monday as entertainment venues, bars, cafes and restaurants except take-out and delivery services were closed.
In the neighboring Czech Republic, the Ministry of Health reported 15,729 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday – the highest increase in cases in a day since the pandemic began. Health officials also reported 220 other virus-related deaths.
According to health authorities, 4,080 Covid-19 patients had been treated in intensive care units in France by Wednesday. The last time there was this number of patients in intensive care was at the end of April.
Earlier this week the World Health Organization (WHO) said France had seen “significant escalation” in new coronavirus cases. “France was the third highest number of new cases in the world, with more than 275,000 reported cases last week (4,200 cases per million population). This is an increase of 27% over the previous week,” the WHO said on Tuesday.
Russia reported more than 19,000 coronavirus cases for the first time on Wednesday – a new record for daily gains – according to the latest data from the country’s coronavirus response center. Russia has recorded a total of 1,693,454 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began, with at least 29,217 deaths officially reported by authorities.