8.2 million people infected, 258,000 deaths, from eastern countries which since this weekend, like their western neighbors, have imposed new restrictions in an attempt to counter the epidemic … is Europe turning into a giant cluster? The situation, in any case, greatly worries the World Health Organization (WHO) which considers that “too many countries” in the northern hemisphere are recording an exponential increase in Covid-19 cases. So far spared, even Germany recorded a peak of 15,000 infections on Saturday, more than in March.
Joined across the Rhine, Doctor Pieter Liese, MEP and member of the Committee on Public Health, sighs: “Yes, the second wave will be worse than the first because we are systematically behind on the decisions that we take for counter the virus. If we want to avoid widespread re-containment, we need to take drastic new measures such as closing restaurants, banning events and requiring masks in schools. “
In the East, a pandemic almost out of control
In Poland, where the whole country is now in the red zone, restaurants and primary schools will be partially closed and high school and college students will practice distance education. Wedding ceremonies will also be prohibited and the number of people strictly limited in shops, transport and churches.
In Slovakia, a nighttime curfew came into effect on Saturday and in the Czech Republic, where the rate of contamination and death is the worst in Europe in the past two weeks, partial containment is already in place until November 3. Partial confinement has also applied since this weekend in Slovenia.
The two main cities of Greece, Athens and Thessaloniki, have also been subject to a nighttime curfew since Saturday, and the mask becomes mandatory inside and outside.
Despite these drastic measures, the WHO notes that hospitals and intensive care units are close to or have exceeded their capacity limits in many countries of the northern hemisphere.
Spain in health emergency until May
In Spain, which has officially exceeded the threshold of one million cases of coronavirus, the state of health emergency has just been extended until May. The country has declared an unprecedented six-month curfew, while in Italy cinemas, theaters, gyms and swimming pools will have to close from Monday until November 24. “I am very concerned about the situation in some countries,” explains Dr Peter Liese. In Belgium, the epidemic is totally out of control because they reacted too late. In Germany, the number of cases is now doubling every week and I am pessimistic about France. “
In France, the virus infected no less than 45,422 people on Saturday in the space of 24 hours. A new record which seriously worries public decision-makers and nursing staff. This Sunday, doctors from the Regional Union of Liberal Health Professionals (URPS) of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region called for an extension of the curfew and confinement of the population at the weekend, saying that “the situation is serious and the time is no longer to half measures ”.
PODCAST. Covid-19: how France sees the arrival of the “second wave”
Should Europe coordinate more to fight the coronavirus? “European countries now use the same criteria to define red zones or alert thresholds,” LREM MEP Pascal Canfin tells us. Tests done in one country are, for example, recognized in others, which is the minimum, but this was not the case at all until the end of the summer. “
Difficult, according to him, to go further. “It is normal that the responses remain national because they depend on the seriousness of the epidemic situation, but also on the balance between health issues – which push to re-define – and economic and psychological issues which push to let it operate, even at slow speed, businesses and cultural venues. No one would understand that a decision to re-contain or close a sports hall was taken from Brussels for all of Europe. “
Hanging on hoping for a vaccine
Used to the mysteries of the Parliament of Brussels, the German deputy Peter Liese is in favor of “better European health coordination” but recognizes that “it is not very realistic”. “In every country, politicians think they know better than others how to react and they don’t want Europe to impose measures on them. But I note that we have made great progress in terms of European coordination, on vaccines, for example. I am even optimistic that we will have one available next spring. “
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr