10 countries now coloured red on European coronavirus map
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10 countries now coloured red on European coronavirus map

Credit: Belga

A total number of ten countries are now coloured red on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) coronavirus map, meaning they crossed the threshold of 120 confirmed infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks.

After nine countries, including Belgium, have been red for several days or weeks now, the United Kingdom has become red in the map’s latest update.

Spain (319 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past two weeks), the Czech Republic (303/100,000), France (245), the Netherlands (231), Belgium (206), Luxembourg (161), Iceland (158), Hungary (129) and Denmark (128) are now joined by the UK (135).

In almost all of the countries that already were coloured red, however, the situation has worsened in the meantime.

Additionally, four other countries, while not having passed 120 confirmed infections per 100,000 inhabitants yet, are at risk: Romania (116), Austria (114), Slovakia (106) and Ireland (105).

Credit: ECDC

On Sunday, the UK exceeded the mark of half a million confirmed infections. In the country’s latest update, health services reported 22,961 new confirmed cases in 24 hours, almost twice as many as the previous day.

However, that jump in the figures is reportedly due to the correction of a technical defect. Between 25 September and 2 October, 15,841 cases were left out of the UK’s daily figures, according to Public Health England.

Those cases were then added to the weekend’s figures, causing a distorted picture of the situation in the country.

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Two weeks ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new measures, including a 10:00 PM closing time for the restaurants and bars, which are expected to remain in place for six months.

The authorities of several countries are also taking measures to prevent the further spread of the virus, even when they are not coloured red on the European map.

France announced new restrictions on 23 September, and decided to tighten them on Monday by closing bars and reduce the capacity for shopping centres in Paris.

Germany recently extended its ban on large gatherings such as sporting events and concerts until the end of the year, and anyone arriving at the airport from a high-risk country must take a Covid-19 test and quarantine for 14 days.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times