Europe prepares for second wave of Covid-19 – GAZ


European countries have begun to close schools and cancel surgeries, going far beyond restrictions on social life, now that overworked officials are facing the resurgence of Covid-19 on the eve of winter.

Most nations in Europe have softened lockdowns during the summer to start reviving the economies already on the way to retracements and unprecedented job cuts, resulting from the first wave of the pandemic. But the return to normal activities – from full restaurants to new semesters at universities – sparked a spike in cases across the continent.

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Bars and pubs were among the first to close or be forced to shorten working hours in new lockdowns, but now rising infection rates are also testing governments’ determination to keep schools open and non-Covid-related health care in operation.

The Czech Republic, which has the worst European per capita index, switched from face-to-face to virtual education and hospitals began to halt operations without urgency to free up beds. Bars, restaurants and clubs closed.

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“Sometimes we are on the verge of crying, it happens quite often now,” said Lenka Krejcova, head of nursing at Slany hospital in northwest Prague, as workers ran through the halls to transform a general ward into a department for patients infected with the new coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Moscow officials said they would adopt virtual education for many students starting on Monday, and Northern Ireland announced a two-week closure of schools.

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The large European economies of Germany, the United Kingdom and France have been resisting pressure to close schools, a measure that created disturbances for the workforce during lockdowns spring, as parents had to split between childcare and working at home. The Netherlands resumed a lockdown partial on Wednesday, 14, closing bars and restaurants, but kept schools open.

European infections have been averaging nearly 100,000 a day, forcing governments to adopt a variety of severe restrictions, each of which tries to calibrate them to protect health without destroying livelihoods. “It’s a mess, it’s a mess, my son, what can I say? We really don’t know what will become of us, ”said an Italian retiree in Rome.



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