French coronavirus infection has risen faster as health authorities warn that the country is deteriorating in its fight against the pandemic.
Elsewhere in Europe, Spain has dealt with nightlife harshly, while German authorities were confident enough to send a cruise ship out to sea with 1,200 passengers for a weekend test on how to resume the industry.
French health authorities said the closely monitored ‘R’ infection now rises to 1.3, suggesting that infected people infect an average of 1.3 other people.
Daily new infections in France are also increasing – to 1130 on Friday.
Covid-19 has already killed at least 30,195 people in the country, and infection indicators now resemble those of May, when France came out of its strict two-month shutdown.
“So we’ve obliterated much of the progress we had made in the early weeks of the lockdown easing,” health authorities said, adding that the French seem to stand guard during their summer break while those who test positive earn less of an attempt to isolate oneself.
They requested a return to “collective discipline” and asked people to work from home and get tested if they suspected infection.
In Spain, Catalonia became the newest region to crack down on nightlife, trying to stop new clusters of infection.
The wealthy northeastern region – home to Barcelona – ordered all nightclubs to close for 15 days and put a curfew on bars in the greater area of Barcelona and other towns around Lleida that have become infectious hot zones at midnight.
Spain has reported more than 900 new daily infections in the past two days, as authorities warn that the country that lost 28,000 lives before the outbreak was brought under control could potentially start a second major outbreak.
Despite concerns, some European countries continued to reopen gradually.
A German cruise ship left for the first time since the industry’s shutdown.
Mein Schiff 2 sailed from the port of Hamburg to Norway on Friday evening, and passengers will spend the weekend at sea with no land stops before returning to Germany on Monday.
The ship had only 1,200 people on board compared to the normal capacity of 2,900.
But with many other cruise lines now looking to travel in 2021, there is certainly a lot of interest in how Germany, acclaimed for its treatment of the pandemic, can start the struggling cruise industry.
In other parts of the world, the pandemic appears to be prevailing.
India, which has the third highest infection in the world after the United States and Brazil, reported that the death toll rose by 740 to 30,601.
It saw a wave of over 49,000 new cases, bringing the total to over 1.2 million. The Ministry of the Interior issued an advisory call on August 15 for Independence Day celebrations to avoid large gatherings.
South Africa, Africa’s worst affected country, reported over 13,000 new cases, bringing the total to over 408,000.
South Korea reported more than 100 new cases of coronavirus for the first time in four months. Among the 113 new cases were 36 workers returning from Iraq and 32 crew members of a Russian freighter.
More than 15.7 million infections and more than 640,000 deaths have been reported worldwide, according to data collected from government announcements by Johns Hopkins University.
Experts say that all those numbers underestimate the real toll of the pandemic, due to limited testing and other issues.
In the United States, with the worst outbreak in the world, Texas struggling with the virus braced for the arrival of Hurricane Hanna, which could make everything more difficult.
The storm is moving towards Nueces County, one of the state’s coronavirus hotspots.
In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves tightened control of the bars to protect “young, drunk, carefree people.”
Bars were already limited to working with a 50% capacity. Now customers have to sit down to order alcohol, and sales stop at 11pm.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered the closing of bars and banned restaurants from selling alcoholic beverages for take-away.
The call came after more than 2,000 new cases were reported for the surrounding state of Louisiana, including 103 in New Orleans.
The United States has killed more than 145,000 and has more than 4.1 million confirmed cases.
In Australia, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews of the Southern State of Victoria announced five deaths and 357 new cases.
Victoria, where the death toll has risen to 61, previously closed the border with neighboring New South Wales.
In Yemen, 97 medical workers have died of the virus, a serious blow to a country with few doctors in the midst of a five-year-old war, the humanitarian group MedGlobal said in a report.
The “overwhelming death toll” will have “tremendous short- and long-term health effects,” said Kathleen Fallon, lead author of the report.