Europe

Coronavirus could overwhelm France, top doctor warns

  PARIS, France (AFP) — France will face a months-long coronavirus epidemic that will overwhelm its health system if something does not change, one of the country’s top medical figures warned Sunday. “The second wave is arriving faster than we thought,” Patrick Bouet, head of the National Council of the Order of Doctors, told the weekly Journal du Dimanche. Fresh restrictions to slow the spread of the disease in the country’s worst-hit areas, including the […]

Moscow mayor orders elderly to stay home as virus rebounds

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Friday ordered the elderly to stay at home and recommended employers allow home working after the Russian capital saw a sharp rise in virus cases. Sobyanin’s message came after virus figures that had remained steady for several months climbed steeply in recent days in Russia, the world’s fourth most affected country, and particularly in Moscow, where current case numbers are the highest since late June. […]

Record infections in France as restrictions spark outcry

by Paul Ricard with Sandra Laffont in Marseille PARIS, France (AFP) — France reported a new record for daily coronavirus infections on Thursday a day after the government announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in major cities which have provoked an outcry from local politicians and business owners. Figures from Public Health France showed that 16,096 people had tested positive for Covid-19 over the last 24 hours, a record — though experts advise that […]

UK reports 6,000 new coronavirus cases

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — The UK on Wednesday reported 6,178 new coronavirus cases, a marked jump in the daily infection rate that comes a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled new nationwide restrictions. It follows a rise of 4,926 the day before and brings the total confirmed cases in Britain since the pandemic hit to 409,729. With a further 37 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, 41,862 people in Britain who tested […]

UK to outline early pub closing as virus alert level raised

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — The UK government will on Tuesday announce new measures to curb a concerning rise in coronavirus cases, shutting pubs in England early and recommending a return to working from home where possible. Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlines the restrictions to parliament at 1130 GMT, and was due to make a televised address to the nation at 1900 GMT. Top advisers on Monday warned the country could see up to 50,000 […]

Over 60 wealthy nations join WHO’s Covid-19 vaccine plan

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — More than 60 wealthy nations have joined a WHO-backed programme to facilitate poor countries’ access to coronavirus vaccines, but the US and China are not on the list published Monday. The World Health Organization has in coordination with the global vaccine alliance group Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) created a mechanism aimed at ensuring a more equitable distribution of any future Covid-19 vaccines. But the mechanism, known […]

Briton, Australian killed clearing WWII bomb in Solomons

  HONIARA, Solomon Islands (AFP) — Two bomb disposal experts from Britain and Australia died in the Solomon Islands when World War II ordnance they were helping to clear exploded, officials said Monday. Police said the pair — who worked for the charity Norwegian People’s Aid — were storing munitions without permission in a residential area of the capital Honiara when the blast occurred on Sunday afternoon. Norwegian People’s Aid named the pair as Briton […]

One missing as torrential rain hits southern France

MARSEILLE, France (AFP) — One person was reported missing on Saturday and hundreds evacuated from their homes after torrential rains swept southern France, authorities said. The Gard region, where firefighters reported the missing person, was on red alert after as much as 350 millimetres (13.5 inches) of rain fell in parts of the Cevennes mountain range on the edge of the Massif Central. A similar amount cut off 10 departmental roads in the Gard, among […]

Fire at Greek migrant camp ‘under control’: police

ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — A fire that broke out on Sunday at a reception centre for asylum-seekers on the Greek island of Samos was under control, police and the fire services said. The fire came after 12,000 people including entire families with elderly and newborns were left homeless earlier this month when fire broke out in the overcrowded and unsanitary Moria camp on Lesbos, another island in the Agean. Two or three containers at the […]

UK PM says second wave ‘inevitable’ as more curbs imposed

by Jitendra JOSHI / Joe JACKSON Agence France Presse Britain is seeing a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday, as millions more people faced new restrictions and the government warned that another national lockdown could be imminent. “There’s no question, as I’ve said for several weeks now, that we could expect and are now seeing a second wave coming in,” said Johnson as he toured the site of […]

Europe battles to contain virus second wave as global cases top 30 mln

  by Hazel WARD with AFP bureaus Agence France Presse A host of European countries imposed new local restrictions on Friday to reduce spiralling new cases of coronavirus as they seek to avoid the example of Israel which enforced a second nationwide shutdown. City authorities in Madrid announced a partial lockdown on nearly a million people, the British government unveiled new measures limiting social contact in several regions, while Ireland banned indoor dining at restaurants […]

Coronavirus cases top 30 million worldwide with Europe on edge

by AFP bureaus COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AFP) — Coronavirus infections topped 30 million around the globe on Thursday as the World Health Organization warned of “alarming rates of transmission” across Europe and cautioned against shortening quarantine periods. The WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said a September surge “should serve as a wake-up call for all of us” after Europe set a new record last week, with some 54,000 cases recorded in 24 hours. “Although […]