The second wave of the pandemic of coronavirus is mainly affecting in Europe large urban centers and the authorities are resorting above all to the limitation of social life and nightlife to curb their expansion.
This is the picture in some of the largest cities in the continent.
Paris without cafes or bars
Already at the beginning of this week, last Tuesday, Paris became a city without bars or open cafes and on Saturday there were eight French cities in the same situation.
Paris, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Guadeloupe (Antilles), Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne, are already in a situation of “maximum alert”, a classification that imposes the closure of cafes and bars and allows opening restaurants On condition of respecting a stricter sanitary protocol: a maximum of six people per table, at least one meter between the groups and the obligation to write down the name and telephone number of the clients to alert them in case of contagion.
Toulouse and Montpellier could soon join that list if their contagion indicators do not improve.
The maximum alert is declared in France when the cumulative incidence rate in the last seven days exceeds 250 positives per 100,000 inhabitants among the general population and 100 cases among the elderly, as well as when at least 30% of ICU beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients.
“The health situation continues to deteriorate in France. The same is happening in many neighboring countries,” French Minister of Health Olivier Veran warned this week.
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Only on Friday, 20 thousand 339 infections were registered in France -a record of positives, compared to about 18 thousand of the two previous days, – which raised to 691 thousand 977 the number of cases since the beginning of the epidemic, to the that 32 thousand 630 deaths are attributed to him in this country.
That same Friday it was reported that Madrid had registered 2 thousand 256 cases in 24 hours, figures that place this city as one of the most affected European capitals. The autonomous community of Madrid has an incidence of the disease of 541 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, double the Spanish average, which is 258, according to health authorities.
For this reason, the Spanish Government decided to impose, from Friday and for 15 days, to impose the state of alarm in the city and in eight other municipalities in the region.
This means that the inhabitants of the Spanish capital have been confined, unable to choose another destination than their own city to spend this long weekend, since Monday is the holiday of October 12 in Spain, one of the dates with greater transit of travelers to coastal locations or second homes.
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The confinement of Madrid has caused tensions between the central and regional governments that dispute national data and affirm that the epidemic in Madrid is subsiding and such drastic measures are not justified.
Merkel: the battle against Covid will be played in the big cities
In Germany, Berlin, and in particular its most central neighborhoods, are among the most affected areas and have been the first to apply restriction measures this week.
The German capital entered an unprecedented phase in this pandemic this Saturday with the de facto closure of nightlife throughout the capital: bars and restaurants must close between eleven at night and six in the morning.
A new shock for Berlin’s nightlife, whose clubs and discos closed with the onset of the pandemic, during which spontaneous open-air parties have proliferated in parks and streets of the city’s nightlife neighborhoods.
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Berlin on Friday exceeded the measure of the Robert Koch Institut (RKI), competent in the matter in the country, which assumes that if more than 50 infections occur in an area in 7 days per 100,000 inhabitants, measures must be taken. The capital has 52 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Frankfurt and Cologne are also above the 50s. The same is true in other districts of the “Land” of North Rhine-Westphalia (west), the most populated in the country, and Bavaria (south).
German experts and politicians agree that urban centers are the main problem, while the curve approaches the peak of infections that Germany registered between the end of March and the beginning of April: 6 thousand a day.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the mayors of the eleven main German cities on Friday recognized the challenge they face.
“We all know that cities and urban areas are now the stage where we will see if the pandemic in Germany can be kept under control or if control derails. At this point we are,” warned Merkel.
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Merkel welcomed the adopted restrictions, although she said she was aware that “they are painful for many” and she appealed to young people to accept these sacrifices and think that the increase in infections could end up affecting risk groups.
Moscow chooses to promote teleworking
In Russia, Moscow, where schools have been closed and the chronically ill and those over 65 have been confined, remains the epicenter of the pandemic with 4 thousand 501 cases and 35 deaths in 24 hours, over 13 thousand 634 infections and 149 deaths detected throughout Russia.
During this week in the Russian capital there have been 46% more cases than the previous one and 12% more hospitalizations, which has forced the establishment of several reserve hospitals.
The mayor of the Russian capital, Sergei Sobianin, has ordered that at least 30% of the staff of each company work at home until October 28 and expressed his concern with the overcrowding of public transport.
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In addition, more than half a thousand cases were registered in the second city of the country, Saint Petersburg, where 21 patients also died.
Prague adds more infections than all of neighboring Austria
In the Czech Republic, health authorities reported on Saturday that the level of coronavirus infections took a huge jump in 24 hours, with more than 8,600 confirmed cases, making it proportionally the European country hardest hit by the pandemic. On Friday there were 8,618 new cases in the Central European country of about 10.7 million inhabitants.
In Prague the number of infections reached 1,386 cases, more than in neighboring Austria as a whole, where 1,235 infections were announced yesterday.
According to the calculations of Radio Prague, the level of infections in the Czech Republic is currently 14 times higher than that of its main neighbor, Germany.
Starting next Monday, a series of new restrictions will come into effect in the country, such as the closure of public swimming pools.
Prohibition also in Edinburgh and Brussels
The capital of Belgium and its region are also the epicenter of the current explosion of coronavirus cases in that country.
The accumulated incidence in Brussels is 502 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on average in the last 14 days. In the country as a whole it stands at 245.8 cases, an advance of 77% compared to the previous week.
Since October 8, Brussels has closed bars, cafes and party halls for a month. Restaurants may remain open, but amateur sporting events must be held without an audience and places of worship may accommodate a maximum of 100 people.
Brussels is located “on the podium (of the coronavirus) of the European capitals, between Madrid and Paris,” declared this week one of the spokesmen for the Belgian inter-federal team against the coronavirus, Yves Van Laethem.
The expert pointed out that the new measures do not imply having to “live like monks”, but rather apply a sanitary discipline to be able to maintain “a social life” until the situation improves in “April or May”, according to his estimate.
The escalation of new infections in Belgium coincides with the worsening of the data also in neighboring countries such as France, the Netherlands or Luxembourg.
On average, Netherlands last week has registered about 4,160 new cases per day, much more than the previous week, when the average was 2,893 infections per day. Amsterdam, The Hague and Roterdam top the list of places with the most contagion.
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Closing the bars has also been the option chosen by the Scottish Government. From this Friday and for two weeks, in five areas of central Scotland, including the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, catering establishments – including bars, pubs and restaurants – will be closed, fewer coffee shops that do not sell alcohol.
In the rest of Scotland, hospitality establishments have to close the service inside at 6:00 p.m. and they will not be able to offer alcohol, although they may have the terraces open, until 10:00 p.m.