LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Portugal and Hungary on Monday became the latest European countries to impose a curfew against the rising wave of coronaviruses and deaths that are hitting the continent and Apply urgent. But rays of hope have emerged from France, Belgium and elsewhere that tough restrictions may be starting to work.
Portugal, like other European countries that have seen new cases and hospital admissions spike in recent weeks, has imposed a state of emergency and ordered around 7 million people. – about 70% of the population – stay at home on week nights between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. for at least the next two weeks. They will be even more limited on weekends, only allowed out in the morning until 1pm, unless buying essentials at the supermarket.
“Everyone needs to comply. If they don’t, we are in a bad situation, ”said Miriam Ferreira, a 44-year-old laundry worker in Lisbon.
The Portuguese government warns that these measures could be extended and prolonged if they are insufficient.
Hungary also applies the most stringent measures to date: 8pm to 5am. a curfew announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. All businesses must close by 7pm
Other measures in Hungary reflect those already familiar across Europe, including being limited to restaurants and sporting events, family gatherings limited to 10 people and learning from far away for high school and college students. Restrictions start on Tuesday at midnight and will remain for at least 30 days.
“I know, we all know, this won’t be easy. The weeks that followed will be difficult. But vaccines are on target, we have to hold out until then, ”Orban said.
Last week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced that a small quantity of Russian coronavirus vaccine will arrive in Hungary in December for final testing, with larger numbers to be delivered in January.
The French government has slowly tackled the issue from local curfew and bar closures to what is now a nationwide shutdown, despite essential schools and business establishments. open door. Health Minister Olivier Veran said early signs suggest measures may be beginning to slow the latest outbreak of the virus and it will “break out faster and more aggressively” without them.
However, the situation in French hospitals and nursing homes remains dire, with emergency areas close to saturation and some sick patients evacuating from struggling hospitals to The other hospital still has room. With more than 1.8 million infections since the beginning of the pandemic, France has the highest number of cases recorded in Europe and the fourth highest worldwide.
Other European countries have also reported a nascent onset of a potential change.
In the heavily hit Belgium, health authorities believe partial locking has reduced the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19.
Belgium’s hospitalizations for the virus appear to have peaked at 879 on November 3 and dropped to around 400 on Sunday, virologist Yves Van Laethem said on Monday. The decline after a return to partial closures included unnecessary business closings and extended school holidays.
In Germany, the Minister of Health said the increase in infections appeared to be leveling off but it was too early to talk about a trend.
Germany will partially shut down for 4 weeks. The number of new infections continued to rise, hitting a new one-day record of 23,399 on Saturday.
But Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday “we are seeing that the momentum is flat, that we have less strong gains.”
He adds that progress is needed and only this weekend “at the earliest” the impact of the restrictions will become apparent, “if any.”
“We don’t want the gains to be any less dramatic,” he said. “We have to lower the numbers.”
Infections in the Czech Republic have started to decline after two months rising to record highs and hospital admissions have also dropped below the 8,000 mark.
Elsewhere across the descending continent, the situation was changing. World Health Organization director general, Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus, said that unification between countries will be key in the future.
“We might be tired of COVID-19, but it doesn’t tire us. Yes, it preys on weaker health, but it also preys on other weaknesses: Inequality, division, denial and delusion and willful ignorance, ”he said. “We cannot negotiate with it nor can we close our eyes hoping it disappears. It does not heed political rhetoric or conspiracy theories. Our only hope is science, solution and solidarity ”.
On Monday, Russia reported a record daily number of new infections – 21,798, 1,000 more than the previous record – but only 256 deaths daily, far below the highest figure. Overall, Russia has recorded almost 1.8 million infections and 30,793 deaths, but officials said they did not consider imposing any national embargo.
Spike reported from Budapest, Hungary and Leicester from Le Pecq, France. Jamey Keaten in Geneva, Sam Petrequin in Brussels, Jim Heintz in Moscow, Geir Moulson in Berlin and other AP journalists also participated.