European nations experience record spikes in coronavirus cases

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Oct. 4 (UPI) — European nations are dealing with a new coronavirus outbreak after largely containing the pandemic earlier this year.

Four European nations are in the top 10 for most deaths — No. 5 Britain at 42,317, No. 6 Italy at 35,986, No. 8 France at 32,230 and No. 9 Spain at 32,086 — but the fatalities and deaths had subsided after high levels at the start of the pandemic in March.

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On Sunday, the continent recorded 50,007 new cases and 385 additional deaths one day after 65,676 new infections and 592 additional deaths. The worldwide death toll surpassed 1 million in the past week and now stands at 1,040,398 with 35,320,099.

The United States continues to head the list with nearly 210,000 deaths and 7.4 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins tracking, followed by Brazil with 146,011 deaths, India with 101,841 and Mexico with 78,880.

On Saturday, Britain reported 49 deaths. At one time, it had a daily high of 1,172 but the toll had decreased into single digits often.

Britain reported a record 12,872 cases though the government said a technical issue caused the spike with a delayed posting of data. Britain didn’t report data Sunday.

Five days ago, Britain set a record with 7,143 new cases after daily cases had been below 5,000 from early May until Sept. 22 with 5,079.

“This could be a very tough winter for all of us,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Mar on Sunday. “It’s gonna continue to be bumpy through to Christmas. It may even be bumpy beyond.”

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Tighter restrictions were instituted Saturday in parts of northern England. People are now allowed to meet others indoors from other households in the Liverpool City Region, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Warrington.

France also reported a daily record Saturday with 16,972 new cases surpassing last week’s record of 16,096. On Sunday, France announced 32 deaths and 12,565 cases.

On Thursday, health minister Olivier Veran said Paris was in danger of returning to lockdown.

Italy, which at one time was the world’s epicenter and reached single-day death toll of 919, reported 27 deaths and 2,844 cases Saturday, which is the highest since 3,022 on April 24. The nation didn’t report data Sunday.

On Monday, Italian premier Giuseppe Conte plans to meet with government ministers to discuss measures.

Spain didn’t report data Saturday but announced 3,722 cases Friday, which is below the record 13,738 on Sept. 18. However, an additional 113 deaths were reported with 241 on Sept. 22, the highest since 244 on May 6.

This weekend, the central government instituted restrictions on residents of Madrid and nine towns near the capital. They can travel outside their home districts only for essential reasons. In addition, bars and restaurants can’t serve past 10 p.m. And the maximum number of people to meet in one place is six.

Germany also has experienced a spike in cases. On Friday, the nation reported 2,673 new coronavirus infections, which is the highest number of daily infections since April 18. Germany added 985 cases Sunday, as well as 4 deaths and is in 19th place after being in the top 10 a few months ago.

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Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered new measures and urged residents to “obey the rules” going into winter.

“I am sure: life as we know it will return, but now we have to be reasonable,” she said.

Parties held in public spaces are now limited to 50 people in areas that register more than 35 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days.

As most European nations early largely controlled the outbreak, Russia has continued to report several thousand cases a day and deaths in triple digits.

Russia is in fourth place with 1,204,502 cases, including 10,499 Sunday, the most since 10,598 on May 15. Saturday’s increase was 9,859. The nation gained 107 deaths and is in 12th place.

Sweden, which has been doing “herd immunity” with no lockdown, doesn’t report data over the weekend and its death toll stands at 5,890. Neighboring Norway reported no deaths for the second day in a row to remain at 275, as well as 59 more cases.

In Asia, the death toll has passed 200,000 with more than half in India, and 4,634 in mainland China, which once was the epicenter, but no new deaths since April 26. On Sunday, 1,636 deaths were added in Asia for a total of 201,490.

On Sunday, India reported 940 new deaths and 75,829 cases for a total of 6,549,373 in second place behind the United States. The nation holds the world record for most infections reported in one day, 97,894, late last month.

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Elsewhere in the Far East, South Korea reported one death and 64 cases on Sunday with Japan announcing 12 deaths and 553 cases.

In the Middle East, Iran is in 10th place with 211 additional deaths with a record 235 on July 25.

The Western Hemisphere has recorded more than half of the total deaths in the world — 315,243 in North America and 260,456 in South America.

Brazil reported 580 deaths Saturday and 24,602 cases for a total of 4,906,883 in third. Like President Donald Trump, its president, Jair Bolsonaro, has contracted COVID-19 though he downplayed the seriousness of the virus in the nation, mockingly calling it “a little flu.”

Peru announced 56 deaths Saturday and is in seventh place with 32,665. Colombia is 11th with 26,556, Argentina 13th with 20,795 and Chile 15th with 12,919.

In North America, Mexico reported 388 deaths and 4,863 cases. Though Mexico is fourth in the world for most deaths, it is ninth for most cases.

Canada is far behind the United States and Mexico in deaths and cases but they have been spiking.

Canada is 20th in fatalities, reporting 52 deaths for a total of 9,462. Cases have been surging with 1,812 reported Saturday. Since a record 2,730 infections on May 3, new daily cases have only exceeded 2,000 twice — both in the past week. Between May 26 and Aug. 30 cases were never more than 1,000.

In Montreal and Quebec City, along with a region south of Quebec’s capital, there are enhanced restrictions for 28 days. Closed are bars, casinos, concert halls, cinemas, museums and libraries with restaurants limited to takeout.

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Ontario is under a province-wide mandate for face coverings and residents may only have close contact with those who live in the same household.

The borders between Canada, Mexico, and the United States will remain closed through Oct. 21 for nonessential travel.

In Oceania, there are 936 deaths with Australia at 894 and New Zealand at 25. In one week, Australia reported 64, including one Sunday. Since May 29, New Zealand has reported three deaths with the last one Sept. 16. And cases stand at 1,833, and its most recent locally acquired case was reported on Aug. 21.

In one week, Australia has reported 12 deaths, including two Sunday.

Beginning Oct. 16, New Zealanders from areas that are not traveling from areas considered a “COVID-19 hotspot” — defined by Australia as an area with an average of 10 locally-acquired coronavirus cases over three days, or at least 30 cases over three consecutive days — will be able to travel to New South Walse and the Northern territory without undergoing 14 days of mandatory quarantine.

Travel from Australia to New Zealand remains prohibited and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that New Zealanders returning from trips to Australia will be required to quarantine.

“We will not open the borders for quarantine-free travel with Australia until it is safe to do so because doing it too early risks losing all of the freedoms that we already have in our economy,” she said.

Victoria is still cut off from the rest of Australia.

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In Africa, there have been 36,515 deaths, which is about 1,000 more from the previous week, led by South Africa with 16,938, including 29 more Saturday followed by Egypt with 5,970 with 14 more. South Africa has the 10th-most cases in the world at 679,716.

Last week international flights landed in South Africa for the first time in more than six months.

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