LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Portugal and Hungary became the latest European countries to impose curfews against the resurgent tide of coronovirus infection on Monday and file deaths and its emergency wards that harm the continent. But from France, Belgium and elsewhere, there is a glimmer of hope that tougher sanctions may begin to work.
Portugal, which, like other European countries, has seen an increase in new cases and hospital admissions in recent weeks, enacted a state of emergency and ordered about 7 million people – about 70% of its population – to stay home on weekends From 11 am to 5 pm. At least the next two weeks. They will be even more limited over the weekend, only to be allowed until 1 am, unless necessary items are purchased in the supermarket.
“People need to comply. If they do not, we are in a bad situation, ”said 44-year-old laundry worker Mariam Ferreira in Lisbon.
The government of Portugal warned that measures could be broadened and prolonged if they proved insufficient.
Hungary has also implemented its most stringent measures so far: the 8 am-5pm curfew announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. All businesses must be closed by 7 pm
Other measures in Hungary made them aware of those across Europe, including eateries and sporting events, family gatherings limited to 10 people, and distance education for high school and university students. The restrictions kick in at midnight on Tuesday and will last for at least 30 days.
“I know, we all know, it’s not going to be easy. Next week will be difficult. But the vaccine is within sight, until then we’ve got to keep it out, “Orbán said.
Last week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijarto announced that a small quantity of the Russian coronovirus vaccine would arrive in Hungary in December for final tests in January, with major deliveries in January.
France’s government has gradually done away with localized curfews and bar closings, now a full nationwide lockdown, with schools and essential businesses open. Health Minister Olivier Vernon said there are early indications that measures could begin to slow the latest virus boom and that it has become “faster and stronger” without them.
Nevertheless, the situation in French hospitals and nursing homes was critical, with saturation levels in emergency wards approaching and some sick patients being evacuated from struggling hospitals to others that still had space. France has the highest number of cases recorded in Europe and fourth-highest worldwide, with more than 1.8 million infections since the onset of the epidemic.
Other European nations also reported the onset of a possible change.
Welsh Government First Minister Mark Drakeford spoke of “some temporary initial positive signs” from the 17-day lockdown that ended on Monday in Wales.
“They give us some hope,” he said, falling from 250 per 100,000 people to just 220 for the seven-day average of Wales for new coronovirus cases.
From Monday, Wells again allowed people to meet in small groups, and businesses – including pubs, restaurants and hairdressers – reopened. But non-potential travel is halted in and near neighboring England, which is in the midst of a planned 28-day lockout.
In the Czech Republic, infections have begun to decrease after a two-month increase to record high levels, and the number of hospitalized people has also fallen below the 8,000-mark.
In hard-hit Belgium, health officials also believed that a partial lockdown shock COVID-19.
Belgian hospital admissions for the virus were seen at 879 on 3 November, and fell to around 400 on Sunday, virologist Yves van Latham said. The drop follows a withdrawal for partial lockdown measures that include closing unprofessional businesses and extending school leave.
In Germany, the Health Minister said that the increased infections are closing, but it is too early to talk of a trend.
Germany is a week into a four-week partial closure. New infections continue to rise, reaching a new one-day record of 23,399 on Saturday.
But Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday, “We are seeing the momentum flatten, that we have a strong growth spurt.”
He said more progress was needed and that the weekend would see the effects of the sanctions “at the earliest”, “if at all.”
“We don’t want less robust growth,” he said. “We have to bring the figures down.”
The Director General of the World Health Organization said that with the continual growth of this continent, unity among countries will be important in advancing.
“We may be tired of COVID-19, but we are not tired of it. Yes, it depends on those who are in poor health, but it also preys on other weaknesses: inequality, division, denial and wishful thinking and strong-willed, ”said Tedros Adhon Ghebaius.
“We cannot negotiate with it nor close our eyes and hope that it will go away.” It pays no attention to political rhetoric or conspiracy theories. Our only hope is science, solutions and solidarity. “
Spike reported from Budapest, Hungary and Le Pessac, France to Leicester. Jamie Keaton in Geneva, Sam Petrequin in Brussels, Jill Lawless in London, Jim Hintz in Moscow, Geyer Moulson in Berlin and other AP journalists also contributed.