Health

Infection rates slow moderately in Europe but restrictions remain

Madrid Desk, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- Despite a moderate reduction in coronavirus infection rates across the continent, authorities in several European countries are sticking with tough restrictions to limit travel and cultural activities in the hopes of flattening the curve before the winter holiday season at the end of December.

The number of infections in the world by the Sar-CoV-2 virus passed 55 million on Tuesday, while deaths exceeded 1.3 million, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine (JHU).

GERMANY

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, spoke of her impatience over the postponement of stricter measures to reduce new infections in a consolidated way across the country, and lamented that no consensus was reached a day earlier when she met with the leaders of the country’s federal states.

Short of imposing a nationwide state of emergency, Merkel must have the support of those regional prime ministers in order to impose health restrictions, but many were reluctant to toughen the “partial lockdown light” that Germany has had since the start of the month.

German health authorities counted 14,419 new infections with coronavirus and 267 deaths in the last 24 hours. The number of new cases per day is thus below the 15,332 recorded on Tuesday of last week and the record of 23,542 new infections on Friday, but these rates are still far above the peak of the first wave of the pandemic.

DENMARK

The Danish social democratic government and four center-left parties have reached an agreement for a legal reform that would allow the culling of the entire mink population after a mutation of the coronavirus was linked to a mink farm.

The Danish Executive had announced the cull of around 15 million minks on the 4th, but soon after it was revealed that the laws only allowed ordering culls on farms where infected animals had been detected or were within a radius of 7.8 kilometers, which caused a political storm.

More than 200 people have been infected with one of the five mutations of the virus detected in minks.

Apart from the mink cull, authorities have imposed restrictions in seven municipalities in northern Jutland, the most affected area, including the closure of hotels and a recommendation to limit movements.

RUSSIA

In the past 24 hours, Russia registered 442 deaths from Covid-19, a new record of daily deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic in March, health authorities said Tuesday. The total number of deaths from covid-19 in the country amounted to 33,931, according to the crisis cabinet that manages the health emergency in Russia.

In the last 24 hours, 22,410 new cases of covid were registered in the country, 5,882 of them in Moscow, the main focus of this infection in the country.

UKRAINE

Dozens of business owners protested in front of the Supreme Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine against the quarantine imposed by the government for the coming weekends to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Ukraine recorded in recent hours almost 12,000 new cases of coronavirus and 159 deaths, according to Health Minister Maxim Stepanov. The previous day the incidence had fallen to 9,832 new cases per day.

PORTUGAL

The northern region of Portugal reported an average of 1,304 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 15-day period until November 10, while the average for the rest of the country is 760 cases. On Monday, Portugal, which is in a state of emergency with 80 percent of the population under curfew, set its daily record of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, with a total of 91.

A total of 191 municipalities, including Lisbon and Porto, remain under partial lockdown and curfew, which Monday through Friday extends from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., while on weekends it is from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. EFE-EPA

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