Europe's spike stalls, but WHO warns of impending rise in deaths: COVID-19 Daily Bulletin
Updated 00:47, 15-Sep-2020
Thomas Wintle


- Spain is considering extending its nationwide furlough scheme, which guarantees workers part of their income while they are sidelined during the pandemic, into 2021, Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz has announced.

- New cases in France have dropped from a record 10,561 on Saturday to 7,183 one day later. However, Marseille and Bordeaux announced new measures on Monday to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

- After five consecutive days of more than 1,000 daily infections, Czechia's new cases dropped to 792 on Sunday. 

- Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has expressed concern about a testing backlog she said was starting to affect the timely reporting of data vital to combating the virus.

- A failure by political leaders to heed warnings over the threat of the pandemic has taken "a world at risk" to a "world in disorder," according to a report on international epidemic preparedness by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board.

- The UK has brought in new measures aimed at curbing a rise in cases, including restrictions of gatherings of more than six people. But there are differences between the legislation in the nations that make up the kingdom - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

- Sweden has taken the UK off its "red list" of countries to which it advises citizens not to travel, despite a spike in new cases in the UK over the past week.


- Airbus has warned of further layoffs as air travel flounders amid the coronavirus crisis, which may set it on a collision course with the French government and unions.

- Romania has reopened schools for 2.8 million children after a six-month closure, but students will have to wear face masks.

- Britain's opposition leader Keir Starmer is self-isolating after a member of his household showed COVID-19 symptoms.

- "Excess deaths" - the number that occurred beyond the average or typical number recorded from the previous year - in Russia between May and July more than tripled the country's official coronavirus toll, government data show.

- The World Health Organization expects Europe's coronavirus death toll to rise in the coming months, with the body's Europe director Hans Kluge saying: "It's going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality."

- Several European countries are testing a platform that will allow national tracing apps to "talk" to one another, the European Commission has announced.

- Ryanair expects the European Commission's new coronavirus travel advice system to open up most regions of Europe to travel without quarantine, Chief Executive Eddie Wilson has said.





Iolo ap Dafydd in London

From Monday, people in the UK face fines of up to $4,000 if they do not follow measures aimed at curbing a rise in cases. The restrictions are known as the "rule of six."

People can still mix at work, schools, universities, shops and on public transport, but there are differences within the UK's four nations. 

While social gatherings of more than six people are now illegal across the UK – weddings and funerals are exempt – groups of up to 30 people can still meet outdoors in Wales, unlike in England and Scotland.

The rule of six includes all age groups in England, but in Wales and Scotland, the new rules will not include children under 11 and 12 respectively. In Northern Ireland, up to 15 people can meet in a garden or outdoors.

The authorities aren't clear how the regulations are to be fully policed. Police will have the power to disperse illegal gatherings and issue fines ranging from $100 to $4,000. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said "COVID-19-secure marshals" will operate in towns and cities. 

The public are being urged to stick to the limits of what's now legal, in a more fluid lockdown than early summer, but one that still curbs individual freedoms. People are also being encouraged to report neighbors, colleagues or anyone else to the police, if they see anyone breaking the law. 


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Ross Cullen in Paris

Marseille and Bordeaux are announced new measures on Monday to combat the spread of the coronavirus. 

The two cities, along with the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, were asked by Prime Minister Jean Castex on Friday to provide plans for the next steps to try to control the surge in numbers. 

In Bordeaux, public gatherings are going to be limited to 1,000 people and private get-togethers to ten people. Visits to care homes are going to be reduced as well, to a limit of two people visiting one elderly resident once a week.

Marseille has a rate of infection of 275 people per 100,000 inhabitants, Bordeaux is at 272 per 100,000 and the national average is 70. 

The three places are listed as "critical zones." Of France's 94 departments, 42 are "red zones." Additionally, 43 students at a university in Brittany have tested positive for the coronavirus after a night out in local bars, prompting the local health authority to call for an immediate end to students socializing in public or in private.


Mark Webster in Frankfurt 

The number of recorded cases in Germany has topped 260,000, but medical authorities say they are reasonably confident the country's "second wave" is under control, with Sunday's death toll down to four.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced big changes to a major Sino-European summit that was to have taken place in the eastern German city of Leipzig. Instead, the summit is now taking place virtually.

The German government has said it is determined to avoid another complete lockdown, but urged German citizens to obey the rules to prevent the resurgence of the coronavirus.


Rahul Pathak in Madrid 

Just one week after children returned to school in Spain, university students are following suit. 

Unlike some countries with similarly high infection rates, almost every Spanish school is set to open its physical doors to students this month, all the way from pre-schools to universities.

When asked last week if the return to school and colleges would be safe, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said "yes," without hesitation.

"Zero risk doesn't exist in terms of epidemiology, but there is one risk we can remove – the risk of social exclusion due to unequal learning environments," he told the radio station SER.


A woman wearing a face mask leaves a metro station in Prague. After five consecutive days of daily infections topping 1,000, Czechia's new cases dropped to 792 on Sunday. /Michal Cizek/AFP

A woman wearing a face mask leaves a metro station in Prague. After five consecutive days of daily infections topping 1,000, Czechia's new cases dropped to 792 on Sunday. /Michal Cizek/AFP



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Source(s): AFP ,Reuters