The second wave of the corona pandemic even affected many of Germany’s neighbors more than the Federal Republic. Particularly high infection rates are registered in France, the Benelux countries, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. An overview of the figures and countermeasures from governments:
In France, the number of new infections over the weekend had passed the 50,000 mark every day, and 26,771 new cases were registered on Monday. Given these figures, Gilles Pialoux, specialist in infectious disease control, launched an overly clear call on Tuesday. The spread of the virus got “out of hand” in France, he said on the television channel BFM-TV. In the light of the second wave of the pandemic, according to Pialoux, it is unavoidable to impose even stricter exit restrictions.
Pialoux, head of the Infectious Diseases Department at Tenon Hospital in Paris, is Vice President of the French Association for the Fight Against AIDS. Eight months are a relatively short time in the course of a pandemic, the 64-year-old said in view of the virus’ first appearance in France at the beginning of the year. The economic downturn resulting from a new lockdown can be offset, but not the deadly consequences of the pandemic, Pialoux warned.
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To what extent French President Emmanuel Macron shares the doctor’s opinion should become clear after two crisis cabinet meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. In France, there is already a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. for 46 million people.
According to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, the restrictions are expected to lead to a decline in gross domestic product in the last quarter of the year. Macron must therefore be careful to avoid closing factories as much as possible. According to media reports, curfews in Paris, Lyon and Marseille could be brought forward to 7 p.m. and tighter exit restrictions could be imposed on weekends.
As far as the Benelux countries are concerned, Belgium is mainly affected by the second wave. Since the start of the pandemic, one of the highest death rates in the world has been recorded there, with a total of 93 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in the kingdom. There is already a partial lockdown in French-speaking Wallonia and the capital Brussels. In the Flemish part of the country in the north, a council of ministers must decide on Tuesday evening whether similar measures should be taken here too.
According to Johns Hopkins University, 2,146 people have died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic in Switzerland. In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, 5,949 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours on Tuesday. With the number of infections now also increasing exponentially in the Swiss Confederation, wearing a mask in public buildings throughout the country is mandatory for a week. Since the beginning of the week, masks in Ticino must also be worn outside if the minimum distance cannot be adhered to.
In Austria, according to a survey by the European disease authority ECDC, the states of Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg are mainly affected. On Monday, 2,456 new infections were reported across Austria. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stated that a lockdown was inevitable from a threshold of 6,000 new infections per day.
In the Czech Republic, a curfew between 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM applies from Wednesday, which should remain in effect until November 3. Restaurants, bars and clubs, as well as cultural institutions such as theaters and cinemas closed two weeks ago. But that did not change the fact that the number of new infections in the Czech Republic is rising enormously. On Tuesday, 10,273 new cases were registered nationally within 24 hours.