Strong Backlash Against Restrictions Meets New Daily Case Records In Eastern Europe
News reports are from Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Israel and Russia.
Eastern Europe Largely Avoided Coronavirus 1st Wave, Now It's Battling Outbreaks And Outrage Over New Restrictions
At a "Farewell COVID" party in June, thousands of Prague residents dined outdoors at a 500-meter long table across the Charles Bridge to celebrate the end of the lockdown measures. The Czech Republic was being hailed by the rest of Europe for successfully stopping the virus after closing its borders and putting in place the harshest lockdown on the continent. Now the country is in the midst of a strong outbreak, with case numbers rising above anything recorded in the spring -- and already there are signs renewed restrictions won't be greeted favorably. (Guenford and Jovanovic, 10/18)
The Washington Post:
Italy's Second Wave Of Covid-19 Is Hitting The South Hard
Italy is about to test the value of "flattening the curve." When northern Italy became the epicenter of the pandemic in the spring, one urgent concern was that the country’s coronavirus outbreak would quickly spread to the less-prosperous south and overwhelm under-resourced regional health systems. That fear wasn’t realized. A strict nationwide lockdown largely contained the virus in the north and brought the outbreak under control. (Harlan and Pitrelli, 10/17)
French Virus Curfew Produces Eerie Quiet On Streets Of Paris
The streets of Paris and eight other French cities were deserted on Saturday night on the first day of the government-imposed 9 p.m. curfew that is scheduled to last for at least four weeks. The measure was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron to curb the resurgent coronavirus as new infections peaked to over 30,000 a day. Macron said the curfews were needed to stop local hospitals from becoming overrun. (10/17)
Coronavirus ‘Tsunami’ Nearing Belgium, Health Minister Warns
Coronavirus transmission is slipping out of control in Belgium, Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said Sunday, on the eve of new restrictions in the country. “We are really very close to a tsunami,” he warned, speaking to broadcaster RTL. “We no longer control what is happening.” New restrictions are set to take effect on Monday, including the closure of all bars and restaurants, and a midnight curfew nationwide. (Wheaton, 10/18)
The Washington Post:
Israel Imposes Second Covid Lockdown. Citizens Are Ignoring It.
As one of the few countries to return to a complete lockdown amid a new surge in coronavirus infections, Israel is learning that freezing a nation in place is even more difficult the second time around. Israel's experience could hold lessons for other governments looking to stem the pandemic's stubborn grip across the world. (Hendriz and Eglash, 10/18)
Russia Shuns Tough Restrictions Even As Infections Soar
It’s Friday night in Moscow, and popular bars and restaurants in the city center are packed. No one except the staff is wearing a mask or bothers to keep their distance. There is little indication at all that Russia is being swept by a resurgence of coronavirus infections. “I believe that everyone will have the disease eventually,” says Dr. Alexandra Yerofeyeva, an internal medicine specialist at an insurance company, while sipping a cocktail at The Bix bar in Moscow. She adds cheerfully: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” (Litvinova, 10/17)