Nov 2, 2020 - World

Europe's coronavirus case counts are skyrocketing

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Europe is swiftly shutting down as the unprecedented spike in new cases hits perilous new heights.

The big picture: Cases are growing uncontrollably across most of the continent. While spikes in hospitalizations and deaths have thus far been less sharp in most countries, fears of overcrowded hospitals are growing. The U.S. may be tracking just two or three weeks behind.

Driving the news: Fresh off imposing a new lockdown — something he’d vowed not to do — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that the current spike could ultimately be “twice as bad” as Britain’s brutal spring.

  • “We could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day," he warned.
  • Starting Thursday, bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses across England will be closed. International travel will be banned, as will the mixing of multiple households indoors.
  • As in most of Europe, schools will stay open.
  • The new measures are slated to last until Dec. 2, but Johnson conceded today that they could be extended.

The latest: Austria also announced a lockdown on Saturday, while restaurants, movie theaters and gyms will be closed in most of Greece starting Tuesday. Belgium is also locking down.

There is less horrifying news elsewhere.

  • Israel was the first country to impose a second nationwide lockdown, but it appears to be working despite less harsh restrictions and some flouting of the rules, WSJ notes.
  • Case counts fell swiftly and dramatically, starting just 10 days after the lockdown was imposed.

In India, cases and deaths have been consistently in decline since a mid-September peak.

Go deeper: Europe's monster second wave

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