The third Covid wave hits Europe, Lockdowns imposed

The third Covid wave hits Europe, Lockdowns imposed

March 23, 2021: Over a year later, the coronavirus outbreak has declared a pandemic; Europe is struggling with the virus amid the third wave of infections and ramping up lockdown measures.

Simultaneously, the bloc’s vaccination rollout remains sluggish, hit by manufacturing issues and supply snags, to the extent that European Union leaders are once again meeting this week to discuss the introduction of possible vaccine export bans.

It comes as a handful of countries reintroduce lockdowns to curb the third wave of infections, with France, Poland, and Ukraine all implementing stricter measures at the weekend that are set to last several weeks at least.

A month-long partial lockdown was reintroduced in Paris Saturday and in 15 other regions in France to get on top of rising case numbers, primarily attributed to new, more infectious Covid variants.

However, the latest partial lockdown is less stringent than previous ones, prompting some to question the point of such a move, while others have said that the new measures are confusing. A curfew is still in place, and inter-regional travel remains effectively banned. Around 21 million people in France are affected by the new rules.

The country reported over 30,000 new daily cases on Sunday, bringing the country’s total number of infections to over 4.2 million. Over 92,000 people have died due to the virus in France to date.

Meanwhile, Europe’s largest economy, Germany, could be set to extend a national lockdown into April as the country also battles the third wave of Covid-19 cases. Several states have reportedly called for an extension to current restrictions as the Covid incidence rate passed 100 cases per 100,000 people, a level the government previously said would prompt it to implement an “emergency brake” to prevent further spread.

The move would be a blow for Germany that had started to ease lockdown measures, allowing schools to reopen in February and some non-essential shops to admit customers again earlier this month.

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