Covid deaths double in a day in Italy – 9 EU nations see record cases

Coronavirus deaths almost double in a day in Italy, at least nine European nations see record new cases and financial markets plunge as second wave grips the continent

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland all recorded record numbers of infections
  • In addition, many countries are seeing increased hospitalisations and deaths
  • Italy recorded another 83 deaths Thursday, nearly double the 43 on Wednesday 
  • Europe’s markets dipped well below two percent as lockdowns are brought in

Coronavirus deaths almost doubled today in Italy and at least nine European nations recorded a record haul of new cases.

Financial markets dipped on Thursday as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland recorded their highest ever daily infection tallies.

Increased testing capacities mean that it is impossible to compare these figures to the first wave in the spring but the continent is experiencing increased hospitalisations and deaths. 

Italy recorded another 83 deaths, a rise of almost double the 43 fatalities on Wednesday, though still far fewer than at the height of the pandemic when a daily peak of more than 900 fatalities was reached.

The staff of civil protection prepare the beds for the field hospital for possible COVID-19 patients in Turin, Italy, on Thursday

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland recorded their highest ever daily infection tallies on Thursday

Deaths from the virus have also begun rising, though are still far below their first-wave peak as better testing uncovers more mild cases, and better treatment improves survival rates

Coronavirus cases have been rising across Europe and are now above the first-wave peak in most countries. The Netherlands and Czech Republic have emerged as the continent’s new infection hotspots, with Germany, Italy, and lockdown-free Sweden faring best

Germany’s main index, the DAX, dipped well below two percent on Thursday

Paris’ CAC 40 was rocked by the developments on the continent today

London’s FTSE 100 Index took a similar blow on Thursday amid rising coronavirus infections

Germany, which logged a record of 6,638 cases, reported 33 new deaths on Thursday which is triple the figure recorded a week ago, though still less than its European neighbours.

France has reported more than 100 deaths per day on average this week, the UK 110, and Spain 160.  

Major European stock indexes dipped well below 2 percent over fears for what the new lockdowns would bring. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 state governors – who are responsible for imposing and lifting restrictions – agreed Wednesday night to tighten mask-wearing rules, make bars close early and limit the number of people who can gather in areas where infection rates are high. But those decisions ‘probably won’t be enough,’ Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, told ARD television.

‘We must stop this exponential rise, the quicker the better,’ Merkel said, noting that neighbouring European countries are having to take ‘very drastic measures.’

This week has seen the Netherlands close bars and restaurants, and the Czech Republic shut down schools.

The Czech Health Ministry confirmed more than 9,500 new virus cases on Wednesday, over 900 more than the days-old previous record.

The government announced Thursday that the military will set up a virus hospital at Prague’s exhibition centre.



Angela Merkel has announced new curbs on places where infections are above 35 per 100,000, and tightened rules in places above 50 infections per 100,000

The Czech Republic has the highest infection rates in Europe, with comparable figures in the worst-hit regions of Britain, France and Spain 

‘We have to build extra capacity as soon as possible,’ Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said. ‘We have no time. The prognosis is not good.’

The governor of the German state of Bavaria said his region has received a request to treat Czech COVID-19 patients.

In France, which reported over 22,000 new infections Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron put 18 million residents in nine regions, including Paris, under a 9pm curfew starting Saturday.

France will deploy 12,000 police officers to enforce the curfew and will spend an additional 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to help businesses hit by the new restrictions.

‘Our compatriots thought this health crisis was behind us,’ Prime Minister Jean Castex said. ‘But we can’t live normally again as long as the virus is here.’

Daily cases in the Czech Republic reached a record 9,544 today after the country’s relative success in the spring gave way to a massive second wave in the autumn 

The Czech Republic recorded 66 new deaths today, and unlike in most of Western Europe the daily death rate is higher than during the first wave of the pandemic 

Just as Macron’s government tackles the resurgence of infections, French police on Thursday searched the homes of a former prime minister, the current and former health ministers and other top officials in an investigation into the government’s pandemic response.

It was triggered by dozens of complaints over recent months, particularly over shortages of masks and other equipment.

Aurelien Rousseau, director of the Paris region’s public health agency, said nearly half of its intensive care beds are now occupied by coronavirus patients, with other hospital beds filling rapidly too.

‘It’s a kind of spring tide that affects everybody simultaneously,’ Rousseau said. ‘We had a blind spot in our tracking policies. It was the private sphere, festive events.’ 

Poland registered a record of nearly 9,000 new cases on Thursday. Masks have been required outdoors since Saturday and strict limits have been imposed on the size of gatherings. 

Portugal moved to restrict social gatherings to a maximum of five people, while preparing to make masks mandatory outdoors and to impose fines on those disregarding the rules.

Even Sweden, which has chosen a much-debated approach of keeping large parts of society open, raised the prospect of tougher restrictions.

‘Too many don’t follow the rules,’ Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said. ‘If there is no correction here, we must take sharper measures.’ He didn’t elaborate.

In Germany, Bavaria’s outspoken governor, Markus Soeder, hammered home the importance of taking action now, arguing that ‘everything that comes later will cost more.’

‘I’ll even go so far as to say that Europe’s prosperity is at stake,’ he said. 

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