International

Corona crisis in France and Spain: these are the reasons why Germany is doing so much better at the moment: politically

It could have been so much fun: After the exit restrictions ended, travel time began. On to Mallorca or the Côte d’Azur. But then the federal government issued one travel warning after another.

Especially for regions in Spain and France – in Spain it now applies to the whole country. New corona infections skyrocketed in both countries. The number of new cases is also increasing in Germany, but it seems to be going much better than in France and Spain. How can that be?

Christian Drosten examines developments in other EU countries. In Germany, you have to be clear that “if we overlap the curves, we are a little behind Spain and France and England,” explains Drosten, head of virology at Charité.

He emphasizes “that we should not pretend that things are very different for us. We don’t do many things very differently now ”.

10,000 and more new infections per day in Spain

“There are a few details that can be different here than in Southern Europe. Our households are often smaller, we have more single households ”, says Drosten. There are fewer multi-generational families in which the virus spreads easily beyond age limits.

“Those are definitely differences. But otherwise Germany is not much different from these European neighbors. That is why we have to be very careful and keep a close eye on what is happening now. “

The Spaniards have puzzled and debated for weeks: why have the country and especially the capital Madrid once again become epicenters of the pandemic in Europe after the successful fight against Corona? Including post-reported cases, there have been 10,000 or more new infections across the country every day for weeks.

Precautions are more stringent than anywhere else in Europe. This also applies outside the strict mask obligation, which is observed by almost everyone. You hardly ever see “refusers”.

So why? The authorities have some answers that explain part of the malaise. Much more is being tested, which is why there are more positive results, they say. In addition, there is more mobility than at the end of the exit restrictions.

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More tests, more freedom – but so do other countries. However, it is different: the party. The sociable and party-mad Spaniards have become “more careless”, especially at private gatherings and when visiting bars, restaurants and nightlife, many experts, including Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, said unanimously.

“Our social habits and habits play a decisive role in the spread of the virus,” wrote the newspaper “La Vanguardia”.

Too much party, not enough siesta

Too much party, too little siesta, says respected Spanish genetic researcher Salvador Macip of the University of Leicester in England. Especially in the summer, the Spaniards are more programmed than other people to get together and “socialize a lot”.

But the authorities in Spain have also made mistakes. For a long time, the system for detecting the infection chains suffered from a lack of personnel. In hotspots it was often decided too late to introduce new restrictions on freedom of movement.

In France people look a little confused at Germany, where the weather seems to be going so much better. In the neighboring country to the west, the number of new corona infections has already reached 10,000 every day, just like in Spain. In comparison, in Germany the number reached its highest level since April in mid-September, but at over 2000 it was still well below the values ​​in other EU countries.

The situation is particularly serious in cities such as Marseille, Bordeaux or Paris. However, France is also testing considerably more than in the spring. The number of corona deaths is not increasing enormously, the hospital occupancy rate is viewed with concern, but overall, at least nationwide, still at a very low level. In the south, however, intensive care beds are becoming scarce.

The physician and former health director William Dab criticized in the “Journal de Dimanche” that Prime Minister Jean Castex had recently announced no really strong measures, only adjustments.

Castex wants to reconcile life with the virus and business and school life. France’s strategy is still not clearly defined – if the centralized state was clearly supported in the spring and the same strict exit restrictions were imposed on everyone, the government is now holding the regions responsible.

Young French celebrate too much

The authorities in Bordeaux and Marseille recently announced stricter measures at the request of the government, in particular restrictions on alcohol consumption in public places. Nice and Lyon are next.

In general, the rules in France are sometimes stricter than in Germany – in many cities, such as Spain, a mask is mandatory outdoors. In addition, the mask is mandatory at work. But things are also much more relaxed.

France does not test returnees as extensively as Germany – a quarantine and testing requirement only applies to a few selected countries. There is also a lack of follow-up.

The Corona tracking app “StopCovid” is – it should be said so clearly – a flop. It has been downloaded more than two million times and viewed less than 200 times, which is even officially described as “ridiculous”. In restaurants and bars, there are no forms to identify contact cases.

Just like in Spain, young people in particular are infected with the virus. Here too it is assumed that there is too much partying. The French media also note that the minimum distance in France is one meter – not 1.50 meters as in Germany. And the greeting actually includes the Bise – that is, kisses – on it. Even if the French make an effort: it’s hard to leave out the famous kiss. (dpa)

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