Virus: Wales re-confined, France and Italy partly under curfew

With the establishment of curfews in certain French and Italian regions, the reconfigurations of Wales and Portuguese cities, Europe is closing in even more on Friday in the face of the second wave of Covid-19.

The figures continue to increase in France, where more than 41,600 cases have been diagnosed in 24 hours, or 15,000 more than the day before and a new record. Faced with this explosion of cases, the government extended Thursday the night curfew (9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.), which will affect from midnight Friday evening 46 million people in Paris and in the main cities, or two thirds of the population. , for six weeks.

“The coming weeks will be hard and our hospital services will be put to the test,” warned Prime Minister Jean Castex, awaiting a “trying” month of November and a number of deaths which will “continue to increase”.

Until now, the curfew has affected 20 million French people, especially in large cities including Paris and its region.

France is approaching one million people infected (999,043) and the positivity rate continues to climb to 14.3% against 13.7% the day before, and only 4.5% at the beginning of September.

– The Welsh “at home” –

In Italy, the region of Lazio, where Rome is located, becomes the third in the country to introduce a curfew, from Friday evening (11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.) for a period of 30 days. A similar measure is introduced in the region of Naples, Campania, on Friday.

These two territories thus join Lombardy, already badly affected in the spring, where a curfew of the same type has already been in force since Thursday.

Campania is also one of the worst affected regions in Italy, but with a less efficient health system than Lombardy, it finds itself in a more difficult position.

Wales has chosen a two-week lockdown from Friday, the hardest measure introduced in the country since the first wave of Covid-19 in the spring.

From 6:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT), the more than three million inhabitants of the British province will be asked to “stay at home”, explained Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford, adding that the duration of this “guard” fire “is the shortest that can be introduced to be effective.

Non-essential businesses will have to close, leading to a situation comparable to the lockdown introduced in the United Kingdom from March 23 at the time of the first wave.

In the rest of the UK, local containment restrictions also come into effect on Friday, with the Manchester region shifting to the “very high” alert level, the last rung of the British three-tier system, involving the closure of bars and non-food pubs and the ban for different households to meet, with rare exceptions.

A caregiver takes care of a patient with Covid-19 in an intensive care unit at Sao Joao hospital in Porto on October 22, 2020 (AFP – PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA)

The scent of spring confinement also floats over Portugal, where three municipalities in the north of the country, or 150,000 inhabitants, reconfine themselves on Friday.

In these towns, including Paços de Ferreira, they will only be able to leave their homes to go to work, go to school, go shopping or buy medicine. Teleworking, if possible, will become compulsory and businesses will have to close at 10 p.m.

At the same time, the Portuguese parliament will vote on the compulsory nature of wearing a mask in the street.

– Worsening in Eastern Europe –

Greece’s two main cities, Athens and Thessaloniki, will also be subject to a nighttime curfew from Saturday.

Measures of which a foretaste was visible in Ireland on Thursday, for the first day of a re-containment which will last six weeks, during which non-essential businesses will remain closed, but schools open.

The situation is also worsening in Eastern Europe since since Thursday evening, the Czech Republic, where the situation is the worst in Europe concerning the number of new cases and deaths per 100,000 inhabitants over the last two weeks, a confinement partial is in effect, until November 3.

In the Slovakian neighbor, faced with the resumption of the epidemic, the Prime Minister announced Thursday the establishment of a partial curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. from Saturday. During the day, travel will be restricted to certain special cases.

From Saturday in Slovenia, shopping centers, restaurants and hotels in particular will be closed and only a third of public transport will operate.

– Remdesivir authorized in the United States –

The pandemic has killed at least 1.13 million people worldwide since the end of December, according to an assessment established by AFP from official sources on Thursday.

The United States is the most bereaved country with 222,220 dead, followed by Brazil (155,900 dead), India (116,616), Mexico (87,415) and the United Kingdom (44,158).

US President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during the last presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22, 2020 (POOL / AFP - Chip Somodevilla)

US President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during the last presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22, 2020 (POOL / AFP – Chip Somodevilla)

The virus was also invited into the debate between the two American presidential candidates Thursday evening, Joe Biden judging that a president “responsible for so many deaths should not be able to remain president of the United States of America”.

“We are fighting it very strongly,” replied Donald Trump, three weeks after being diagnosed positive for the coronavirus.

“We have a vaccine coming, it’s ready, it will be announced in the coming weeks,” he said.

On this front in the fight against the disease, the antiviral remdesivir is progressing, the United States Medicines Agency FDA having granted it a permanent authorization for hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Gilead announced that it had received authorization for the drug, under the Veklury brand, stressing that it was the only specific treatment against Covid-19 thus authorized after a more rigorous and definitive verification procedure.

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