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Lockdowns returning as Covid-19 caseload revives in Europe

Lockdowns returning as Covid-19 caseload revives in Europe

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Vinayak Barot

New Delhi: France has reimposed lockdown and Germany urged the people to stay home as a fresh wave of Covid-19 hit Europe again in the last few days.

This upsurge of coronavirus cases in Europe could be a huge challenge for all the European countries in coming years as the Continent is yet to recover from the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

A nightly curfew is in place in France and the country’s restaurants, bars, museums, and cinemas have been shut down. Paris also enforced new restrictions to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

On Friday, German health officials urged the people to stay at home to prevent the third wave of coronavirus.  “The country’s latest eruption of coronavirus cases has the potential to be worse than the previous two waves last year,” Jens Spahn, Health Minister of Germany, said.

About the ongoing vaccination drive, he said that more than 10 percent of Germans had now received at least the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The rollout of shots, which has been criticized, is too slow.

Lothar Wieler, head of Germany’s Disease Control Center at the Robert Koch Institute, said that “Germany is just at the beginning of the third wave of the pandemic. The numbers are rising too quickly and if this continues unchecked, there’s a danger that our health system will in April be stretched to its limit.”

“It’s more contagious and highly dangerous, and thus more difficult to stop,” he said. “There are clear signals that this wave could be even worse than the first two waves.”

Germany and France are the largest economies in Europe and fewer business activities in them could affect other European economies.

The French economy shrunk by a record 13.8 percent while German economy went south by 5 percent in the pandemic year 2020.

According to a media report, the construction sector of Germany in January 2021 showed deep declines in services. Output in agriculture, financial services, real estate, and information and communication also suffered.

“Consumptions, investment, and trade in France collapsed under a lockdown imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, although the drop was shallower than expected,” the report said.



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