LONDON – Germany has tracked several European countries by reporting record numbers of coronavirus infections every day on Saturday, as a second wave of infections swept the continent as winter approached.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government flattened the curve this spring and was praised for its response to the Covid-19, which has seen the country introduce extensive contact tracing.
But the National Center for Disease Control, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 23,399 new cases between Friday and Saturday, a daily record for the country.
It brings the total number of registered cases in Germany to more than 600,000. A total of 11,226 deaths were reported throughout the country.
The increase comes even though bars, gyms and theaters have been closed since Monday, according to measures agreed between Mrs Merkel and regional government heads. However, schools will remain open and stores will be allowed limited operations.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is still a long way off,” Ms. Merkel said at a press conference after the measures were taken. She added that if the Germans dropped in contact by November, they could get more done over Christmas.
Although the number of patients is growing, Germany is still able to accept patients from neighboring countries, the Netherlands and Belgium, where hospitals are reaching their limits.
Greece also began its three-week nationwide lockdown on Saturday, the second time this year.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he was forced to act after the spike, warning that without a close-out measure, the pressure on the healthcare system would be “unbearable.”
The country has seen a 20% increase in confirmed infections in the past week, health officials said. It has currently reported 52,254 cases and 715 deaths, according to data from John Hopkins University.
Under the new restrictions, the high schools will be closed with most stores, except supermarkets and pharmacies. The Greeks would also require a permit to venture outdoors at set times.
France also hit a record 60,486 new confirmed coronavirus infections on Friday, Ministry of Health data showed.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 1.6 million, 100,000 less than Russia, which currently has the 4th number of cocoa in the world after the US, India and Brazil.
France also reported 828 new coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, with intensive care beds 90% full, a week after the government imposed a national shutdown.
Many non-essential shops, cafes and hotels are closed in France, but schools remain open.
“We are all in the same place: overtaken by the second wave that we know will be harder, more dangerous than the first,” President Emmanuel Macron told the nation last week. .
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The outbreak of a mutated coronavirus spread from weasels in Denmark to a small number of people, prompting the UK to require all visitors from the Nordic country to quarantine themselves on arrival, the UK government said. , the British government said late on Friday.
After resisting the prospect of a new national lockdown for most of the previous month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered Britain back to lockdown on Thursday.
The UK, which has the highest number of deaths in Europe and has surpassed the 1 million case mark, is facing a second wave of infections that threaten to overwhelm the national health service.
New coronavirus restriction measures went into effect in Italy on Friday as well.
One of the most affected countries recorded 862,681 and 40,638 deaths, according to NBC News statistics, the restrictions divide the country into three regions depending on the severity of the outbreak. latest play. They are less stringent than the overarching measures taken when the pandemic hit the country in March.
Like other countries in Europe, Italy has seen an alarming rise in cases but many say they face the fatigue of locking doors, with anti-rallies. Restrictions broke out in some cities.
Meanwhile in the US, a record 120,048 cases were reported on Thursday, breaking the record set on Wednesday with more than 100,000 cases a day. As of Friday, the United States had recorded 9,827,184 confirmed cases and 237,941 deaths, according to NBC News Tally.
On Friday, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows tested positive for Covid-19, a source familiar with the diagnosis told NBC News.
Reuters contributed to this report
Nancy Ing contributed.