BERLIN (Forsige) – On Tuesday, European governments moved to introduce new concrete barriers to try to control a rapid increase in coronavirus infections as well as provide an economic boom to help companies survive the pandemic.
As world leaders strive to restrict the spread of the disease and the harm to their economies while pinning their hopes on still unproven vaccinations, they face an exceedingly difficult challenge.
In recent days, record numbers of infections have been reported in France, Poland, Russia, Sweden, the United States, and other countries as autumn turns to winter in the Northern Hemisphere and people socialize indoors where the risk of infection is greater.
The coronavirus has infected more than 43.4 million people globally and 1,158,056 have died so far. The largest number of infections and deaths were in the United States.
On Monday, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets across Italy to fuel their outrage at the new round of restrictions, including early closures of bars and restaurants, with protests turning violent in some cities.
Youths hurled petrol bombs at the police in the financial capital of Milan, who replied with tear gas volleys.
Luxury stores had their windows broken in nearby Turin and others were ransacked, leading to the arrest of 10 rioters.
In France, after some of the strictest controls in place anywhere in Europe have failed to avoid the spread of the disease, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin advised the country to prepare for “difficult decisions.”
Within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test on Tuesday, the UK reported a further 367 deaths, the highest daily toll since May 27, government data showed.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Tuesday that the Czech government would ask lawmakers to extend its emergency powers until Dec. 3, as it is trying to stem one of the biggest infection surges in Europe.
So far, at least 8.54 million confirmed infections and 251,000 deaths due to coronavirus have been reported in Europe. On Monday, the continent reported a record of 230,892 new cases, up from 67,739 on Oct. 1.