Traffic passes along the Champs Elysee avenue near the Arc de Triomph in Paris, France, on Friday, March 19, 2021. French President Emmanuel Macron is blocking several regions, including the Paris area, slowing recovery the country’s economic economy as it struggles to contain a third wave of the coronavirus epidemic. Photographer: Cyril Marcilhacy / Bloomberg via Getty Images
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LONDON – Warnings of an exponential rise in infections in Germany and a new one-month shutdown in Paris have underscored the dire situation across Europe as the coronavirus re-emerges.
The variant first discovered in the UK is seen as the reason for the further increase. The strain is reported to be much more virulent than the original.
The French capital and northern parts of the country will enter a new closure on Friday, although schools and essential stores will remain open.
The seven-day average of new coronavirus cases in the country rose above 25,000 this week for the first time since November.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel had announced a relaxation of the blockades in March. It was then that the number of infections per 100,000 people for seven days was 65.
But that number is now 96 and there are real fears that the infections at Easter may mirror what they were at Christmas.
“The increasing number of cases may mean that we cannot take further opening measures in the coming weeks,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn told a news conference on Friday, according to Reuters.
“On the contrary, we may even have to take steps backwards.”
Poland has also seen a large increase in infections with about 52% of new cases related to the Great Britain variant, according to Reuters.
The total of cases for the pushed country surpassed 2 million on Friday with 25,998 in the last 24 hours.
– CNBC’s Bryn Bache contributed to this article.