In the fight against Kovid-19, Europe is looking for very few opportunities.
With the virus suppressed in the months following intense social sanctions last spring, European leaders quickly moved to accelerate the reopening of society to strive for economic reform. But pockets of infection persisted and some countries had made adequate arrangements to track and close local outbreaks. Making matters worse, the rate of infection never fell to a level in many areas where such a system could work effectively.
“People assumed the situation was under control but it was not,” said Rafael Bengoa, co-director of the Institute for Health and Strategy in Bilbao, Spain. “The fire was out but the embers were not.”
European nations are trying to strike a middle path, neither fully suppressing the virus nor fully opening up their economies, a widespread experiment on how civil liberties are very large But manage an epidemic without violating or destroying livelihoods.
Most are now experimented with localized restrictions in virus hot spots. But the Balancing Act is set to be fully tested as public compliance with regulations and the death toll climbs again. Already, some leaders are abandoning the lighter-touch strategy. The government of Ireland recently announced a six-week lockdown.
“It’s very difficult,” said Lawrence Freedman, a professor at King’s College London. “People talk as if to follow a clear policy but it is not.”
The race to return to a form of normality stopped the virus. To welcome students into the continent’s universities, the UK government subsidized millions of restaurant meals for people to eat outside, the newly resumed borders saw tourists flock to nightclubs in Spain and beaches in France. With the virus out of sight, people’s behavior became stress free.
Researchers from Spain’s National Center for National Research Council for Biotechnology, Saul Ares, said, “The authorities preferred the economy that nothing would happen during the summer.”
Leaders who have little choice today, but to re-enforce sanctions to slow the spread of the virus. A state of emergency has been declared in France and Spain. Paris is under curfew at night and Madrid is locked down. People living in Wales are advised to go out of the house for exercise only. Face masks have been made mandatory in Italy, even outside. While these restrictions are not yet stringent because the total closures seen earlier this year, they are both likely to increase economic growth and test population morale in the winter months, experts say.
Overall, European countries are a better place to handle epidemics than in March. The testing capacity has expanded considerably and hospitals are better at treating the sick. Europeans are now accustomed to social distinctions and wearing masks in public.
But even Italy, after the north of the country was quickly destroyed by the shock virus and which proceeded more cautiously to reopen than its neighbors, matters began to increase rapidly is.
Germany’s infection rate has also started climbing. It is built on a world-renowned diagnostics industry, despite a robust testing system that helped prevent the spread of the virus over the summer.
In some ways, European governments had no choice but to reopen and hope that a vaccine or some other treatment was available by fall, Eric Jones, Professor of European Studies and International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University. In the European Union, the economy had shrunk 11.8% in the second quarter of the year due to Kovid-19. “If you predict a three-year epidemic, you are not invited to a lot of dinner parties”.
According to data from the European Union for Disease Prevention and Control, 27 countries in the European Union and the UK reported 259 new cases of coronavirus per million for an average of seven days on Thursday. Compared to fewer than 10 in early May, when Europeans were emerging from lockdown.
France reported more than 27,000 new cases of coronovirus infection on an average of seven days through Thursday. In the same period, the UK reported a daily average of 19,500 cases, Spain around 15,000, Italy over 12,000 and Germany 7,800.
As lockdown restrictions were relaxed and international borders reopened, people’s movement increased and contributed to the resurgence of Kovid-19 cases and deaths.
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Note: Data includes Mondays only
Part of the explanation for the jump in case numbers is extensive testing. But hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing, a sign the epidemic is worsening. France and the UK reported an average of more than 150 Kovid-19 deaths a day over seven days through Thursday. Spain reported more than 120. This is much lower than the more than 1,000 deaths recorded in each of the countries that were recorded during the peak of the epidemic spring, but increased rapidly due to fatal events seen during the summer.
Coronaviruses require social interaction to jump from host to host. As economies reopened, summer tourism resumed and Europeans emerged from weeks of lockdowns to visit bars and restaurants — and ultimately to return to school and university — as the spideri chain of transmission grew longer and longer. The virus’s ability to spread received an additional boost as summer declined and Europeans spent more time in close proximity with others.
Some countries actively encouraged people to have a glimpse of normal life. In August, the British government subsidized over 64 million restaurant meals to run the country’s struggling service sector. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged him to return to Britain to work to promote footfall in city centers.
Although governments expanded testing capacity, significant problems, including slow turnaround times, resulted in a decrease in laboratory capacity, which meant that countries struggled to conduct enough tests to match the scale of the outbreak . In France, Spain, Britain and elsewhere, test-and-trace systems have not been combated.
Contact-tracing applications also failed widely. In France, less than 5% of the population downloaded the government-made app. “It hasn’t worked,” French President Emmanuel Macron said last week. “I’ve asked my teams to completely redesign things.”
Government support for those in quarantine is poor throughout Europe, which pathologists say may result in dental compliance with quarantine instructions.
“I’m sure some people were not sick, because they would have to stop working,” said Yazdan Yazdanpa, an infectious-pathologist at the Beecht Hospital in Paris and a member of the scientific panel advising Kovid to the French government. 19.
One major difference during the second wave of the virus: Public support of governments to combat the epidemic is horrifying in many countries, raising questions over how sustainable the latest round of sanctions will be.
“If you’ve got a large section of society, unaffiliated with just what they’re being asked to do, there’s a point at which people stop moving along, or until policies are unstable Does not happen, the level of resentment increases, ”said Robert Dingwall, professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University.
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Facing this, governments are nervous about imposing full-scale lockdown, instead they expect an array of smaller measures that they hope will spread. Britain introduced a three-tier system of sanctions, keeping the swaths of northern England, where the virus is spreading rapidly under most regulations and leaving other areas relatively free. In the Italian city of Naples, local authorities ordered the schools to be closed for two weeks starting on Friday.
Pathologists acknowledge that nationwide lockdowns are blunt, if effective, tools, and that targeted measures may work if their purpose is clearly communicated to the public and implemented effectively.
“Living with this virus is a process of trial and error,” said Graham Medley, professor of infectious disease modeling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Matthew Dalton in Paris and Giovanni Legorano in Rome contributed to this article
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