Europe is experiencing the full fury of Wuhan coronavirus with the death toll surpassing that of the United States. “Across Europe, the number of infections since the start of the pandemic is now above 8.2 million and more than 258,000 people have died from COVID-19,” French TV network EuroNews confirmed on Saturday.

Germany is among the worst hit, with the number of deaths due to the Chinese virus crossing 10,000 on Saturday. “The rise in infections has spurred a number of local measures to be implemented across the country, and officials have warned of a national lockdown,” public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday issued fresh warning, telling people to stay home. “Please stay at home, wherever possible, whenever possible,” she warned.  ”The pandemic is spreading rapidly again, even faster than at the start of it more than half a year ago.”

Reuters on Saturday reported the worsening situation across the continent:

Europe became the second region after Latin America to surpass 250,000 deaths on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, with record numbers of daily COVID-19 infections reported in the past two weeks.

Europe reported 200,000 daily infections for the first time on Thursday, as many Southern European countries this week reported their highest number of cases in a single day.

Europe accounts for nearly 19% of global deaths and about 22% of global cases, according to a Reuters tally.

Europe reported 200,000 daily infections for the first time on Thursday, as many Southern European countries this week reported their highest number of cases in a single day.

Europe accounts for nearly 19% of global deaths and about 22% of global cases, according to a Reuters tally.

The United Kingdom, Italy, France, Russia, Belgium and Spain account for nearly two-thirds of about 250,000 deaths registered until now from a total of about 8 million cases across Europe.

The United Kingdom leads Europe’s death toll with about 45,000 deaths, followed by Italy, Spain, France and Russia.

Two-thirds of France now under night-time curfew. France “confines 46 million of the country’s 67 million people to their homes from 9pm to 6am,” UK daily Indepedent reported. “A second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is now under way in France and Europe. The situation is very serious,” France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex warned.

“The European Union’s disease control agency has joined frantic health workers to sound the alarm over a coronavirus surge across the continent,” TV network France24 reported. “The continent was facing a major threat to public health and a “highly concerning epidemiological situation,” said Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).”

With the cases of the Chinese virus surging again, millions of Europeans are bracing for tougher lockdowns and more economic hardship. “A second wave of covid-19 is now washing over Europe. In many countries the daily numbers of confirmed cases exceed their spring peaks,” British weekly The Economist confirmed. European government “are falling back on blunt measures: shutting restaurants and introducing quarantines and curfews,” the magazine added.

As governments assume emergency powers, many in Europe are questioning the undemocratic powergrab in wake of the pandemic. “Is the coronavirus pandemic undermining German democracy?” German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle asked. “Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers are bypassing parliament in their bid to fight the pandemic,” the news outlet noted.

Given the new lockdown measures, Europe may be heading for another recession, economic data suggest. “Europe’s economy is sliding towards a double-dip recession, with economists warning that rising coronavirus infections and fresh government restrictions on people’s movement are likely to cut short the region’s recent recovery,” London’s Financial Times predicted last week.

Despite sweeping powers in hands of the political class, Europe has fared worse than the United States, both in terms of stemming the outbreak and reviving the economy. “The eurozone’s gross domestic product [which includes Germany and France] fell 40.3% on an annual basis, far exceeding the 32.9% contraction in the U.S. economy” between April-to-June quarter, the Wall Street Journal confirmed.

 

 
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