Italy’s Lombardy region to impose virus curfew

ROME, Italy (AFP) — Italy’s northern Lombardy region prepared Tuesday to impose a nighttime curfew, the most restrictive anti-coronavirus measure the country has seen since emerging from a national lockdown in the spring. The curfew from 11 pm (2100GMT) to 5 am is expected to begin on Thursday night and last to November 13. Health Minister Roberto Speranza gave his consent late Monday to the more restrictive measure proposed by the regional government, after an […]

Europe tightens virus curbs as global cases top 40 million

  by Agence France Presse bureaus DUBLIN, Ireland (AFP) — A number of European countries took urgent new measures on Monday to combat a second wave of coronavirus infections, as the World Health Organization blamed the surge in worldwide cases — now more than 40 million — on countries’ failure to quarantine infected people properly. Ireland and Wales became the first countries on the continent to re-enter lockdown as the number of people who have […]

Madrid hospital struggles with surge in virus cases

by Thomas PERROTEAU LAGANES, Spain (AFP) — At Severo Ochoa hospital in a Madrid suburb badly-hit during the pandemic’s first wave, the intensive care unit is once again full and exhausted medics dread a repeat of the same “horror”. “We’re swamped,” admits Ricardo Diaz Abad, head of intensive care at this hospital in Leganes, south-west of Madrid, standing in front of the unit’s 12 beds, all filled with gravely ill Covid-19 patients. “Unfortunately we lost […]

New restrictions as Europe surges past 250,000 virus deaths

  by Agence France Presse Bureaus BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — Belgium imposed a nationwide overnight curfew on Monday as Switzerland made wearing face masks compulsory in indoor public spaces, the latest desperate measures by European governments to fight a powerful second coronavirus wave. More than 250,000 people have died of the virus in Europe but the deepening crisis there stands in contrast to Australia, where the nation’s second-biggest city began easing a lockdown that kept […]

Italian PM announces stricter measures to counter virus

ROME, Italy (AFP) — Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Sunday announced a new series of measures to tackle the rising number of virus cases, with restrictions placed on bars and restaurants and push to increase working from home. Restaurants will have to display their maximum capacity, close at midnight at the latest and limit the number of people per table to six, while bars will have to close at 6pm unless they can offer […]

France daily coronavirus cases top record 30,000

PARIS, France (AFP) — The number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in France over the past 24 hours has exceeded 30,000 for the first time, official data showed on Thursday. France’s public health agency said that a total 30,621 confirmed cases of Covid-19 had been detected in the past 24 hours, a record daily total. The number of people who have died from the novel coronavirus over the same 24-hour period stood […]

WHO warns Europe virus surge of ‘great concern’

  by Agence France Presse bureaus eausEuropean countries have unveiled tough new measures to try to curb a surge in coronavirus infections which the World Health Organization warned Thursday is of “great concern”. Underscoring the disruption wrought by Covid-19 even in the corridors of power, US presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris suspended travel after a staffer contracted the disease and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen abruptly left a summit in Brussels […]

‘Corona chaos’ as Germans baffled by virus rules

by Femke COLBORNE Agence France Presse BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — When Covid-19 first struck Europe earlier this year, Germany’s federal system was credited with taking early and targeted measures that helped contain the virus better than many other countries. But as the second wave gathers momentum in Europe’s biggest economy, cracks in the federal system are starting to show. With different states implementing different travel restrictions, quarantine rules and test strategies, a confusing patchwork of […]

Russia registers new Covid vaccine, EpiVacCorona, as cases hit record high

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday that Russia has registered its second coronavirus vaccine, while the country reported a record number of new infections. “The Novosibirsk Vektor centre today registered the second Russian vaccine against coronavirus — EpiVacCorona,” Putin said during a video conference with cabinet members. Vektor, a top-secret laboratory in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, conducted biological weapons research in the Soviet era and stockpiles viruses ranging from Ebola […]

France says to re-impose state of health emergency

PARIS, France (AFP) — The French government said on Wednesday it was re-imposing a state of health emergency to contain the spread of Covid-19. The move, announced shortly before President Emmanuel Macron was to appear on national television to announce fresh coronavirus measures, will allow “measures proportional to the health risks to be taken”, and will enter into force on Saturday, according to minutes from a cabinet meeting Wednesday. France was facing “a health catastrophe”, […]

WWII bomb goes off in Poland during defusal op

by Stanislaw WASZAK / Anna Maria JAKUBEK WARSAW, Poland (AFP) — A massive World War II bomb exploded during a delicate operation on Tuesday to defuse the five-tonne device in a channel near the Baltic Sea but no one was harmed, Polish officials said. The device — nicknamed “Tallboy” and also known as an “earthquake bomb” — was dropped by the Royal Air Force in an attack on a Nazi warship in 1945. It was […]

Roche rolling out high-volume rapid Covid-19 test by year-end

ZURICH, Switzerland (AFP) — Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche said Tuesday it would produce a new antigen test for Covid-19, allowing high-volume and rapid testing for the deadly disease, by the end of the year. The new Elecsys SARS-CoV-2 Antigen test is meant to be administered by healthcare professionals in a lab setting and allows the detection of the virus that causes Covid-19 in as little as 18 minutes, Roche said. It said the “highly accurate” […]