Madrid Desk, Oct 10 (efe-epa).- Several countries in Europe, including the Czech Republic, France and Poland, on Saturday reported their highest single-day infection rates since the coronavirus pandemic began, as the continent braces itself for a resurgence of Covid-19 ahead of the autumn and winter months.
The Czech Republic saw an alarming jump in the number of Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, with nearly 8,600 positive cases reported, making it the currently worst-affected country in Europe.
In the capital city, Prague, alone, there are 1,386 active coronavirus cases, more than the whole of neighboring Austria, which also said it had broken its own single-day infection rate after registering 1,235 cases.
From Monday, a raft of new restrictions will take effect in the Czech Republic, such as the closure of public swimming pools and gyms, while restaurants and bars will have to close at 8pm, with a maximum of four people allowed at each table.
Soaring infection rates among health workers and doctors are of particular concern to Czech authorities.
Despite the worrying epidemiological situation, president Milos Zeman said Saturday in an interview with a local daily newspaper that the country’s economy would not be able to withstand another lockdown.
Zeman’s comments contradict those of the prime minister Andrej Babis, who on Friday did not rule out another general confinement if the virus continues to spread at current rates.
The Czech Republic was one of the countries in Europe that had successfully managed the first wave of Covid-19 in the spring, although much of that has been undone by the explosion of cases in recent weeks.