Nationwide quarantine will begin in Wales
Due to the spread of coronavirus, Wales will introduce a national quarantine for more than two weeks from Friday. All businesses will have to close, except those that are necessary for the country to function.
“It will have to be sharp and hard to get the effect we need,” said Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford. “We will require everyone in Wales to stay at home,” he added. According to the head of the regional government, only employees in key fields, such as paramedics, police officers and firefighters, will be able to work. Churches and other places of worship will also have to close. Lower primary schools will open after two weeks.
Lockdown will take effect in Wales on Friday at 18:00 local time (19:00 CEST). According to the plan, it should not end until Monday, November 9. According to Drakeford, this time is “the shortest possible time” to slow down the spread of coronavirus. “If we do not act now, it will accelerate. Our intensive care units are already full, “warned the Welsh Prime Minister.
According to Sunday’s data, Wales reported 950 new cases of coronavirus infection in 24 hours. At the beginning of October, there were 400 cases.
The entire United Kingdom had 16,982 new infections in the last 24 hours on Sunday. Most are by far the largest in England, with a population of almost 56 million. In England, restrictions are set by the central London government. Local restrictions now apply to about half of the English.
Belgium is within reach of Czech covid numbers, the minister warns of a tsunami
In the country of eleven million, the curves of the number of infected are kept behind the Czech ones, the daily average for last week exceeded seven thousand and continues to grow. Experts emphasize that more important than the total numbers is the increase in the ratio of positive tests to almost 15 percent and the gradual filling of hospital beds, including places in intensive care units. In the Czech Republic, about 30 percent of the tests performed are now positive.
“We are very close to the tsunami – when we will no longer have things under control,” Health Minister Franck Vandenbroucke warned on Sunday. According to him, it is possible that the government will soon resort to even stricter restrictions.
At the same time, many Belgians, as well as people in other countries, show that they are bothered by some existing regulations. While the ban on going out at night from midnight to five o’clock in the morning or the obligation to work from home is disputed by few, the closure of restaurants or the restriction of close contacts to a single person outside the household members has been met with louder criticism.
Some restaurant and cafe owners have decided to file a joint lawsuit against the government, in which they describe the four-week deadline as discrimination against their industry and an epidemiologically unjustified step. They recall that during the first wave of the spring, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies, virtually everything was closed, while now the government has focused on hospitality.
“Children are not the engine of the epidemic”
Unlike in the spring, when Belgium was the worst European country in terms of deaths with a covid-19 per capita, the government is now trying to keep schools open. Parents usually welcome this when they remember the spring more than two months of home schooling.
Although epidemiologists around the world are not entirely unanimous about how much schools contribute to the spread of coronavirus, support for regular school attendance is mostly heard among Belgians. “Children are not the engine of this epidemic, all professionals agree,” Anne Tillemanne, an epidemiologist and pediatrician who is a member of the government’s advisory team, told RTBF Belgian television.
Although a recently published study states that Belgian schools are among the main environments in which the virus is spread by families, according to Tillemanne and other experts, children bring it there primarily from home from adults.
Belgian officials point out that the health situation in the country is now worse than in the first wave in March. They point not only to a record increase in the number of people infected, but mainly to the fact that the number of hospitalizations is doubling every week. “The situation is serious. It is worse than on March 18, when we decided on a lockdown, “said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.
According to the Belgian crisis center, an average of 7876 people were infected daily in Belgium between 9 and 15 October. Altogether, local authorities already register 222,253 infected and 10,413 deaths.