Yet the WHO official saw a light of hope in the messages he received from health ministers in Europe that more and more people have become socially responsible and adhered to physical distancing and wearing facial masks.
Two months after France’s gradual exit from the COVID-19 lockdown, the circulation of the virus is now “under control” in the country despite the recent identification of more than 200 new infections, Health Minister Olivier Veran said Thursday.
He noted the French government is doing everything to avoid a resurgence of the epidemic” and has asked companies to provide stock of masks that can support ten weeks’ use in face of a possible rebound.
Both Serbia and Montenegro have been handling a new peak of COVID-19 caseload with new measures including bans on gatherings and fines for people not wearing masks. Four Serbian cities and towns again declared emergency. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced Thursday new measures for capital Belgrade, where more than 80 percent of new infections have been recorded recently.
Romania has to postpone further relaxation measures scheduled for Wednesday amid the recent rise of infections, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said this week.
“It has become clear that in many places the rules are not followed, and there is an increased risk of transmitting the virus due to non-compliance with the rules,” he stressed.
The British government on June 29 announced localized lockdown in Leicester following a spike in caseload, which pushed the seven-day infection rate in the city to 135 cases per 100,000 people.
In recent weeks, the mines and its surrounding area in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic have witnessed the largest outbreak in the country. As a result, the government, which had lifted most coronavirus-related restrictions in the country, made mask-wearing mandatory for indoor areas and public transport while banning public events of over 100 people in the region.
Noting the worsening situations among neighboring countries, the Austrian foreign ministry issued on Wednesday the highest warning against traveling to the Western Balkan countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
The level-6 travel warning means travelers from those countries have to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine or present a negative coronavirus test result, according to a tweet from the ministry.
There will be increasing controls over the borders, said Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg on Wednesday. “We were able to lift the travel restrictions for 32 European countries,” but the freedom to travel is still “miles away,” he said.