Europe on alert amid worrying infection spikes

Madrid, Aug 12 (efe-epa).- Increasing coronavirus infection rates have spread across Europe in recent days with the resulting health, economic and social crises putting authorities on alert.

Russia, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain have all seen growing numbers of new cases, while the United Kingdom has been plunged into recession from the economic fallout.

The total number of cases in Russia, the fourth worst-hit country in the world, has exceeded 902,700 and deaths reached 15,260, authorities reported on Wednesday.

This includes 129 deaths and 5,102 infections recorded over the past 24 hours in 84 of the country’s 85 provinces.

Authorities in the country have been facing mounting concerns from the international community after announcing they had registered the first Covid-19 vaccine.

Russia said on Tuesday that the inoculation will be administered at the end of this month or the beginning of September to high-risk groups, sparking fears it has not been properly tested.

Russian health minister Mikhail Murashko described these doubts as “groundless”.

His German counterpart Jens Spahn was one of the latest health officials to express concerns the vaccine has not been properly tested.

“It can be dangerous to start vaccinating millions, if not billions of people too early because it could pretty much kill the acceptance of vaccination if it goes wrong,” he said.

It came as the UK officially entered recession on Wednesday for the first time in more than a decade.

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