Europe Confronted With Second Coronavirus Outbreak

European countries are imposing a variety of new coronavirus containment measures as they confront a second wave of infections.The World Health Organization reported Friday that nearly one-third of a record-high one-day total of 350,000 new cases worldwide were in Europe.Record daily highs were reported Saturday in Portugal, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia.FILE – View of a swimming pool closed to the public in Prague, Czech Republic, Oct. 9, 2020. The Czech government has responded to record-high numbers of coronavirus infections by imposing further restrictive measures to try to contain the spread.The Czech Republic reported Friday that daily cases had reached a high for the fourth consecutive day. Italy, France, Germany and Ukraine also reported sharp increases Friday in new infections.But it was Spain that again became the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak, reporting 7,000 new cases Friday, a significant increase from a one-day low of 134 cases in June.The Spanish government declared a state of emergency Friday to reimpose a partial lockdown for several million people in and around Madrid after a regional court struck down the restrictions.Protective gloves hang by a testing booth as health workers prepare for the day at a COVID-19 testing center in Kohima, capital of the northeastern Indian state of Nagaland, Oct. 10, 2020.On Saturday, India said it had recorded more than 73,000 new COVID cases in the previous 24 hours.In a press briefing Friday from Geneva, WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan acknowledged that even as COVID-19 cases increase worldwide, “there are no new answers,” and he stressed that governments must ensure the most vulnerable people are protected.More than 37 million people in all have been confirmed infected with the coronavirus worldwide and more than 1 million have died, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins.COVAX cooperationChina said Friday that it was joining a World Health Organization international initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the developing world.Russia, the U.S. and previously China had said they were not joining the alliance to help two-thirds of world’s population receive the vaccines by 2022.China’s reversal made it the largest country to participate in what is known as the COVAX deal.“We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement.

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