A fresh wave of lockdowns in Europe

A fresh wave of coronavirus infections in Europe is seeing a fresh wave of lockdowns. The one-month lockdown for England announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend could be extended as Britain struggles to contain a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Kingdom, which has the biggest official death toll in Europe from COVID-19, is grappling with more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day and scientists have warned a worst-case scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded this winter. Britain has reported 46,717 COVID-19 deaths - defined as those dying within 28 days of a positive test. A broader measure of those with COVID-19 on their death certificates puts the toll at 58,925.

Likewise in France President Emmanuel Macron has introduced November-long shutdown measures saying that the country risked being “overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first”. New rounds of tough containment measures are also being seen in Germany, Spain, Italy etc. These are all aimed at averting a winter tragedy.

India’s infection  trajectory is looking comparatively comfortable, with October seeing a fall in daily Covid-19 numbers, and with the most recent good news of the active cases dropping below the 6 lakh mark for three consecutive days after nearly three months (pushing France back to the second spot for daily cases after the US).
India recorded 45,231 new cases of COVId-19 in the last 24 hours, government data shows. The daily case count was 3.6 per cent lower than yesterday's 46,963. With this, the country's overall coronavirus case count since January was past 82.29 lakh. According to the Union Health Ministry, the active COVID-19 cases in the country stand at 5,61,908, while 75,44,798 people have recovered from the disease so far. Part of why India’s tough lockdown hurt its people so painfully is that its government just cannot help out like rich countries.
The easing of restrictions on weddings is believed to be aimed at providing relief to the owners of banquets halls. And it is clear that the unwillingness to restrict or ban other festivities comes from the fear of angering the population. This is the situation much of Europe found itself through the continent’s long summer. Most European countries failed to do the right thing then — and are paying the price now, and scrambling to enforce lockdowns. There is a festival period in India. Necessary steps must be taken to avert winter tragedy.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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