The health situation is deteriorating everywhere in Europe, but France is today one of the states most affected by new Covid-19 contaminations.
The epidemic is intensifying and restrictions are multiplying across the old continent. European affairs ministers agreed on Tuesday on common criteria to coordinate travel restrictions in the European Union. Each in turn, the countries are trying to take additional measures to stem the ebb of the Covid-19 epidemic. In France, the Paris region and several large cities in the country are now in a “maximum alert zone”, defined on the basis of the incidence rate – the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants – and the occupancy rate of intensive care units . Authorities have ordered bars to close, while wedding celebrations and other festive events are banned. And already, the ultimate level, “the state of health emergency”, threatens the Ile-de-France …
At the European level, France is currently the 4th country to have the largest number of new cases reported to its population: the incidence rate is 178 per 100,000 people, on average for the last seven days, according to the data. of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Only the Czech Republic (337), the Netherlands (237) and Belgium (222) do worse, if we exclude other small states (Vatican, Andorra, Montenegro) which, with a few positive cases and a low population, have a rapidly skyrocketing incidence rate. Behind France, other countries show worrying rates, such as the United Kingdom (153), Spain (135) or Slovenia (108).
In recent weeks, the trend is broadly the same everywhere: the number of cases of contamination detected is on the rise, unrelated to an increase in the number of tests, proof that the epidemic is on the rise. For some epidemiologists, this could coincide with the change of weather and the drop in temperatures on the continent. This coronavirus, like others before it, could be subject to a seasonal effect.
For now, among the countries most affected, this rebound is particularly sudden in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands or the United Kingdom, a little less in Spain and France where the increase in infections had already started before. The ECDC also offers this map on a regional scale, with an average incidence rate calculated between September 21 and October 4 – data therefore slightly older than those mentioned below: we see France in the darker shades, with the Czech Republic, Spain, Benelux and the United Kingdom.
This situation has concrete consequences in all countries:
- In the Czech Republic, the government announced the closure, from wednesday, of restaurants and bars across the country, as well as a ban on alcohol consumption in public places.
- In Belgium, cafes and bars closed last Thursday across the Brussels region. Furthermore, each individual is only allowed to see, without a mask, “a maximum of three people” (excluding members of the household), what the Belgian authorities have called “the close contact bubble”.
- United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced to close pubs in Liverpool and reactivate three field hospitals set up in the spring.
- In Spain, some regions like Catalonia and Navarre have tightened their restrictions. The state of health emergency in the region of Madrid: the inhabitants of the capital and its surroundings can no longer leave their city for reasons of first necessity since October 2.
- And Italy, where the situation is currently more favorable (incidence rate of 53) but which is also experiencing a recovery (nearly 5,000 new cases on Monday), parties and celebrations are prohibited while bars and restaurants must no longer serve customers not seated after 9 p.m.
- In Austria, which has about 76 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the government did not completely rule out a second confinement last week after a record number of new contaminations in 24 hours.
- In Germany, a curfew has been in effect since this weekend in Berlin, Cologne and Frankfurt, with the closure of restaurants and bars. Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday warned of further restrictions if the curve does not shift. In this country, the incidence rate is currently… 31 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Video: Virus / Germany: new restrictions if the number of infections does not stabilize (Merkel) (AFP)
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