U.K. and France Report Most Deaths Since First Covid-19 Wave
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. and France reported the most coronavirus deaths since May and April respectively and Italy and Greece posted record numbers of new cases as the pandemic showed no signs of abating across Europe.
“We continue to see the trend in deaths rising, and it is likely this will continue for some time,” Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said in an emailed statement Tuesday after the U.K. posted 367 new deaths. She urged regular hand-washing, wearing face coverings and socially distancing to slow the virus’s spread.
France reported 523 deaths from the disease on Tuesday, the most since April 22. President Emmanuel Macron will speak in a televised address Wednesday evening to announce additional measures to tackle the virus’s resurgence. Covid-19 patients now occupy 57.5% of France’s intensive care beds, almost 3 percentage points more than on Monday and up from 42.9% a week ago.
Italy, France and other European countries have instituted curfews in some major cities as governments try to build a firewall against the virus without returning to the full-blown lockdowns that brought Europe’s economies to their knees earlier this year.
However Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, among Europe’s hardest hit countries, said all scenarios including a full lockdown are on the table after the number of new cases on a weekly basis rose to 67,542 from 55,587. In Belgium’s Flanders region, just to the south, the government closed theaters and kept a midnight curfew in place, while leaders in Brussels and Wallonia lifted theirs.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government approved a relief package to help sectors hit by the latest set of restrictions -- which include curfews and early closing hours for restaurants and bars -- amid growing protests in several cities. The country reported 21,994 new cases on Tuesday, joining Greece, Bosnia and Serbia in setting records.
Germany is also heading for harsher restrictions on movement. On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel will propose measures such as closing restaurants and banning major events to the country’s 16 state premiers.
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