In the coronavirus pandemic, new infections are on the rise in Europe, despite the partial lockdowns imposed in many countries. France’s prime minister Jean Castex says the number of coronavirus cases in hospital is now higher than it was last spring – with a new patient admitted every 30 seconds. Hospitals are also under strain in Italy, Europe’s ‘ground zero’ in the pandemic. This time, it’s not just the rich north that’s affected. The second wave is also stretching resources in the poorer south.
Almost two weeks into a partial lockdown, Germany has recorded a record daily increase in COVID-19 cases. Surging infections in Russia, the US and Greece have prompted new curfews. South Korea has begun fining people for not wearing masks in public places. Israel has signed a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech to receive eight million doses of its coronavirus vaccine next year. New Zealand has reopened downtown Auckland after tracing a new coronavirus case to a known cluster.
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