Omicron in Europe: 1 lakh infection in a day in France, Belgium bans gatherings
The Omicron variant of coronavirus has been spreading fast across the world, even becoming the dominant strain in the United States. Since being detected in South Africa on November 24, the strain has spread to more than 100 countries till now.
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The situation is particularly bad in Europe, which has been battered by Omicron. It has led to surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infection in countries like the United Kingdom, where one lakh cases were recorded in a day recently.
Europe has recorded a greater number of deaths than any region in the past week with 53 per cent of the global total followed by the United States/Canada which accounted for 22 per cent of fatalities.
Here are the latest updates on Omicron situation in Europe and the surge in Covid-19 infection there:
Britain: The country saw another day of record Covid-19 cases on Friday (122,186), with new estimates showing swathes of London's population are carrying the virus. The surge is led by the Omicron variant.
It has already become the dominant strain in Britain, according to country’s health authorities.
The government has said that it could impose new restrictions after Christmas.
France: The country broke the 100,000 cases threshold for the first time since the pandemic began as the Omicron variant continued its rapid spread. The hospitalisations have also doubled over the past month.
More than 1 in 100 people in the Paris region have tested positive in the past week. Most new infections are linked to the omicron variant, which government experts predict will be dominant in France in the coming days.
President Emmanuel Macron's government will hold emergency meetings on Monday to discuss the next steps in tackling Covid-19.
Belgium: With Omicron already the dominant strain in Britain, and ravaging through France, neighbouring Belgium imposed new measures starting Sunday that ordered cultural venues like movie theaters and concert halls to close.
Some venues, however, defied the ban, and thousands of performers, event organizers and others demonstrated Sunday in Brussels against the decision, carrying signs reading “The Show Must Go On”.
The Netherlands: The Dutch government has gone farther than most European countries and shut down all non-essential stores, restaurants and bars and extended the school holidays in a partial new lockdown.
Other countries like Italy reported a third successive record tally of cases on Saturday. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland imposed new restrictions Sunday on socialising, mainly limiting the size of gatherings, moves that the restaurant, pub and nightclub industries have described as economically devastating.