Europe is again forced to mobilize its entire arsenal to avoid a devastating winter due to the pandemic. And so the restrictions, even draconian ones, which it was hoped had been lifted, reappear. France is preparing for a further crackdown to save the Christmas holidays, frightened by an unprecedented growth of infections among children. Slovakia, after Austria, returns to lockdown. In Germany, even Angela Merkel would have liked to close everyone at home, but the leaders of the next ruling coalition rejected the request, despite war bulletin numbers.
The infections in Europe
The Old Continent is increasingly seriously ill, with over 2.5 million infections, almost 30 thousand deaths in the last week and an increasing trend. Especially since, the WHO found, 45-47% of the European population is not vaccinated, as are most people in intensive care. The European Center for Diseases, the ECDC, has also insisted on vaccines, but has asked governments for a further, albeit unpopular, effort: to adopt “non-pharmaceutical measures”, ie strict restrictions on social contacts.
Germany, war bulletin on infections. In France, the incidence rate among children nearly tripled in one week
by our correspondent Tonia Mastrobuoni
France, “save holidays” operation
France is ready to get serious, also because the incidence rate in children between the ages of 6 and 10 has exploded: 340 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, while the national average for adults is 191. The government has prepared a scheme of countermeasures based on the strengthening of the distancing and the Green pass and on the acceleration of the vaccination recall campaign, which will be announced tomorrow by the Minister of Health Olivier Veran, with the aim of “saving the holidays”, the government spokesman anticipated, Gabriel Attal.
Case record in Germany
In Germany, where experts estimate that the incidence of Covid is out of control (the record of almost 67 thousand new infections is impressive), the chancellor Angela Merkel has convinced itself of the need for a very hard line. So much so as to propose, in a confidential meeting with the SPD, the Greens and the Liberals, an immediate lockdown until 8 December, according to reports from the image. The proposal, however, was rejected by the leaders of the next government, who evidently fear protests. “The situation is serious,” admitted the future Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz, however, limiting itself to announcing the establishment of a crisis unit on the pandemic.
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Lockdown in Slovacchia
Slovakia, on the other hand, had no doubts in going all the way and imposed a general lockdown for 15 days. Because we have to deal with the highest number of infections per capita in the world: over 10,300 new cases in 24 hours, out of 5 and a half million inhabitants. “An unpopular but absolutely inevitable measure”, underlined the president Zuzana Caputova. In the Netherlands, the return to semi-confinement has unleashed the violence of the no vax, but the premier Mark Rutte he is unwilling to back down. Indeed, it prepares to go further. The hypothesis circulating is the closure of schools.
Eastern Europe towards new straits
There are also new squeezes in Central-Eastern Europe, which pays a huge delay on vaccines (just mention 24% of the immunized population of Bulgaria compared to 86% of Portugal). The Czech Republic considers the obligation for certain groups and categories of people. In Poland, the government, so far cautious about closures, said it could reverse the trend if the infection rate does not start to decline by mid-December.
To avoid a winter of passion, the EU Commission has also mobilized, which tomorrow will present the new guidelines on travel. The idea is to move from an approach based on the country of origin and any quarantines to one focused on the Green pass, which could have a validity of nine months.