A dozen large French cities, including Paris, are living their last evening of freedom on Friday before the curfew announced on Wednesday by President Emmanuel Macron comes into force on Saturday, while in Ireland private visits are now prohibited, in order to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Ireland, where the measure comes into effect on Friday, joins the United Kingdom, which has taken similar measures in London and in several other areas of England, symbol of a new turn of the screw everywhere in Europe , faced with an evolution of the pandemic considered “very worrying” by the World Health Organization.
In addition to these bans, drastic new restrictions have been imposed in areas bordering Northern Ireland: non-essential shops, recreation centers, swimming pools and sports halls will be closed in counties Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan, where live 300,000 people.
In France, Paris, as well as eight other metropolises, including Lyon and Marseille, for a total of twenty million French people, will be subject from Saturday to a night curfew between 9:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT) and 6:00 a.m. (04:00 GMT).
“At 9:00 p.m., everyone should be at home”, Prime Minister Jean Castex detailed Thursday, “all places, businesses or services open to the public will be closed”.
The Prime Minister also announced that “all private parties” held “in multipurpose rooms or any other establishment open to the public will be prohibited” throughout the country, and that all restaurants in France will have to apply a reinforced health protocol .
This is for the French government to slow the spread of the virus as the number of new cases of contamination in 24 hours has exceeded 30,000 for the first time since the launch of large-scale tests. The positivity rate for tests (the proportion of positive people out of all those tested) also continues to rise, to 12.6%.
These new measures particularly affect restaurant owners, but also students. This is the case with Agathe, enrolled in the first year of law in Montpellier (south), who expects “the cancellation of all (s) babysitting evenings”. “I babysat once or twice a week while the parents went out to eat. It will be so much less money for me, I hope it won’t last.”
The pandemic has killed more than 1.09 million people worldwide since the end of December, according to a report established by AFP on Thursday. Some 38.57 million cases have been officially counted, of which more than 26.6 million have been cured.
– Harris and von der Leyen in quarantine –
Sign of the deterioration of the situation across the continent, the new map on travel restrictions released on Thursday by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has placed more than half of the countries in the Union European Union and United Kingdom in red.
Only Norway, Finland and Greece are mostly green while five countries (Italy, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) are mostly orange. Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, however, are not color coded due to a “lack of test data” for an unspecified reason.
In Argentina, the 25,000 dead mark was crossed Thursday, for nearly 950,000 contaminations, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health. According to AFP statistics, Argentina is ranked fifth in the world in number of cases and twelfth in number of deaths.
The virus also continues to disrupt political life, notably causing the departure of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen from a barely started summit in Brussels to quarantine herself after the discovery of a case of coronavirus in her team.
– Chronic diseases –
In the United States, it is the Democratic candidate for the vice-presidency Kamala Harris who had to suspend her travel until Sunday, due to cases of Covid-19 in her entourage. Tested twice, Ms. Harris would be negative, however, according to her campaign team.
More broadly, the further deterioration of the situation in the United States, where the number of new cases is starting to rise again, and in Europe, as well as the lack of agreement on a recovery plan in the world’s largest economy, worry the financial markets, on both sides of the Atlantic: on Wall Street the Dow Jones finished in the red (0.07%) as did the Nasdaq (0.47%) while in Paris the CAC40 lost 2.11%, Frankfurt 2.49% and the London TFSE 100 1.73%.
For the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet, the global increase has continued over the past 30 years in chronic diseases and their risk factors, including obesity, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar level) and air pollution , created the conditions for a “storm”, worsening the toll of Covid-19.
However, some countries are trying to continue to relax the rules: Peru initiated Thursday the gradual reopening of its museums and archaeological sites, closed for several months, starting with the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, which will reopen Saturday for inhabitants of the region of Cuzco (south) and on November 1 to other Peruvians and foreigners.
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burs-els / ahe