Virus: restrictions spread across Europe, sparking growing anger

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The galloping progression of the Covid-19 epidemic in Europe will lead France and Germany to announce Wednesday a tightening of their health measures, following in the footsteps of other countries such as Italy, where discontent is growing in the face of increasingly drastic restrictions.

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With the idea of ​​announcing a new turn of the screw in France, where two thirds of the inhabitants are already subject to a night curfew, President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation on Wednesday evening.

“We must expect difficult decisions”, warned the French Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin.

“The feeling we have is rather that we are going towards containment, that it will last a few weeks and that the government is trying to find the means to preserve schools, public services” and “to maintain a semblance of economic life to avoid a disaster, ”summarized François Baroin, president of the Association of Mayors of France, after a meeting with Prime Minister Jean Castex on Tuesday evening.

The fear of the French authorities is above all the saturation of intensive care services, where more than half of the 5,800 beds available are already occupied.

Faced with the epidemic which killed more than 35,000 people in the country and reached a record of more than 50,000 daily contaminations on Sunday, an infectious disease specialist, Gilles Pialoux, pleaded on Tuesday for a new containment, a “drastic measure” essential because the circulation of the virus “is out of control”. But the employers warned that a total reconfinement like in the spring would cause “a collapse of the economy”.

In Germany, a crisis meeting is scheduled for Wednesday between Angela Merkel’s government and regional leaders.

With around 11,000 dead, Germany is doing – like in the spring – always better than other European countries like France or Spain.

But new infections there reached a record 14,714 on Saturday, and the Chancellor has not stopped recently to call on her compatriots to stay as much as possible at home.

“We must now take decisions quickly and in a determined way in order to break this second wave of contaminations,” insisted German Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

As in all of Europe, the fear is to deal another blow to a recovering economy. According to the media, Merkel advocates a “light lockdown” with the closure of restaurants and bars, as well as a ban on public gatherings. Schools and nurseries would remain open.

The other EU states are on a similar path, such as the Czech Republic where a 9:00 p.m. to 4:59 a.m. curfew goes into effect Wednesday until November 3.

Exasperated Italians

And this at a time when, in Italy, the gatherings of exasperated people are now daily. Thousands of them took to the streets again Monday evening, with violent incidents in Milan and Turin, the two large cities in the north of this country bruised by the health crisis in the spring.

Because some no longer believe it: in the small port city of Pesaro, not far from San Marino (east), the police intervened in a restaurant whose owner had invited 90 people to dinner to signify his refusal to comply with the rules . “You can stop me, I won’t close anymore,” he blurted out.

The Italian government has imposed a curfew in several large regions in recent days, closing bars and restaurants at 6 p.m., as well as sports, cinema and concert halls.

In Spain, bloodless after battling the coronavirus for more than six months, the vast majority of Spanish public service doctors began a national strike on Tuesday, the first in 25 years, to demand more recognition.

10,000 dead in Canada

Canada crossed the milestone of 10,000 dead on Tuesday evening. More than 90% of deaths have been recorded in the two largest provinces of the country, Ontario and especially Quebec. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recognized the fatigue that is settling in the population.

“There is not one of us who wants to be here in the press conferences with masks, with explanations on (…) more cases in our schools, more restrictions that limit us, annoy us in our everyday life, ”he said.

“It’s not going to be easy,” he warned. “Christmas (…) is coming. We are probably going to several parts of the country not being able to get together with our families even if we are really careful in the coming weeks ”.

The United States remains the most affected country, deploring more than 225,000 deaths in nearly nine million cases. But one week before the US presidential election, Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was fed up to see the campaign dominated by the pandemic which his opponent Joe Biden made his main asset by denouncing the president’s management.

“Covid, Covid, Covid! Media Fake news only have that word in their mouths, ”the Republican billionaire said at a meeting in West Salem, Wisconsin.

Globally, the Covid-19 has killed almost 1.2 million people for more than 43.5 million recorded cases.

At the UN headquarters in New York, all physical meetings scheduled for this week have been canceled after the discovery of five cases of Covid-19 within Niger’s diplomatic mission.

And in Argentina, former world football star Diego Maradona has been placed in preventive solitary confinement for coming into contact with someone showing symptoms of the disease.

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