Countries across Europe are reporting record high Covid-19 case counts, as concern grows over hospital capacity and new lockdown restrictions are imposed throughout the continent. Here’s what you need to know:
Germany shattered its record for new daily coronavirus infections, recording more than 20,000 cases in a single day for the first time, according to the country’s center for disease prevention, the Robert-Koch-Institute. Meanwhile, the number of people requiring intensive care due to Covid-19 has doubled in the last 10 days, German health minister Jens Spahn said Friday.
The Italian regions worst hit by the second coronavirus wave entered a new lockdown Friday after the country tallied its highest daily number of both infections and deaths the previous day. Residents in “red zone” regions — Lombardy, Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta and Calabria — may only leave home for necessities, health or work. All of Italy is under a 10 pm to 5 am nationwide curfew, with bars and restaurants closing at 6 p.m., while certain areas face harsher restrictions.
Italy reported 35,505 new cases and 445 deaths Thursday, taking its case total to 824,879 and fatalities to 40,192, according to health ministry data.
In neighboring France, Paris also announced stricter measures as the country reported a record 58,046 new cases Thursday, according to the French health agency. The country has Europe’s highest case number, at 1.6 million infections.
On Wednesday, the UK recorded its second-biggest jump in daily coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. The following day, England entered a second lockdown — requiring people to stay home in most circumstances — and at least 104 people were arrested at an anti-lockdown protest in London on Thursday evening.
Greece will enter a three-week national lockdown on Saturday after reporting almost 10,000 new cases in five days, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced Thursday. The new restrictions require Greeks to text the authorities before leaving home, and high schools will close.
The Danish government has announced new restrictions in seven municipalities after scientists there identified a mutated strain of coronavirus linked to the mink population. According to the government, the mutated form of the virus has been passed back to humans. On Thursday, the government announced that dine-in restaurants, pubs, cultural venues and public transportation will be closed in the affected municipalities. People with links to mink farm operations are being encouraged to be tested every three to four days.
Russia reported 20,582 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest number of cases it has ever reported in a single day, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center. Russia has recorded a total of 1,733,440 cases, with at least 29,887 officially reported deaths. Last week, Russia’s health regulator imposed a nationwide mask mandate.