Coronavirus cases around the world hit record highs above 330,000 daily infections as it hit Europe in a second wave and spread across the United States with renewed speed, forcing many places to re-implement the severe restrictions they had relaxed just a few years ago. months.
Long after Europe appeared to have largely tamed the virus that proved so lethal in the spring, new confirmed infections are reaching record levels in Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy and Poland. Most of the rest of the continent is registering similar red flags.
France announced a curfew starting at 9 pm in Paris and other big cities. Londoners face new restrictions on indoor concentrations. Holland closed bars and restaurants this week. The Czech Republic and Northern Ireland suspended face-to-face classes in schools. Poland limited the hours of operation of restaurants and ordered the closure of gyms and swimming pools.
In the United States, new daily cases have increased in 44 states, with the sharpest increases in the north-central regions and the Great Plains, where rejection of the use of masks and other preventive measures is high and often perceived. to the coronavirus as an exclusive problem of the big cities. Daily deaths are increasing in 30 entities of the country.
“I see this as one of the toughest times in the epidemic,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor University School of Medicine, Texas. “The numbers are increasing rapidly. We are going to see a fairly large epidemic throughout the Northern Hemisphere.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s leading expert on infectious diseases, said citizens should give serious thought to whether or not to host Thanksgiving gatherings.
“Everyone has this sense of warm and emotional tradition about the holidays, of gathering in a group with friends and family inside the house,” he told ABC. “This time we have to be really careful and have each family evaluate the risk-benefit of doing it.”
Responses to the spike in infections have varied in some of the worst-hit states.
In North Dakota, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum raised the risk level for coronavirus in 16 counties this week, but did not impose mandatory restrictions. In Wisconsin, a judge temporarily blocked an order from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers that would limit the number of people in bars and restaurants.
South Dakota broke its record for hospitalizations and new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, and has reported more deaths from the disease so far in October than in any other full month. Despite the dark outlook, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is resisting pressure to increase the state’s response to the pandemic.
Dr. Marc Larsen, who oversees the response to Covid-19 at St. Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, said rural hospitals in the system are reporting increases as drastic as in Kansas City.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, it was felt that this was a problem in the big cities, and now it is reaching rural communities, where I think that not much emphasis has been placed on the use of masks and social distancing,” he said.
The average new daily cases in the United States has increased from about 40,000 to more than 52,000 in the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University. During the summer, the figure reached almost 70,000. The death toll has remained relatively stable in the past two weeks, at about 720 a day, well below the country’s highest point of 2,200 deaths a day at the end of April.
Globally, deaths have dropped slightly in recent weeks to about 5,200 a day, after reaching nearly 7,000 in April.