Alarm as Covid infections rise again in Europe

Britain has recorded its highest daily cases of Covid-19 since May, with 2,988 new infections on Sunday, as several European hot spots saw fresh spikes.

The UK is seeking to avoid another lockdown “at all costs”, environment secretary George Eustice said. The new surge in cases coincided with millions of children returning to schools and a government effort to get people back to work.

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In France, the virus is spreading at a worrying pace, with 7,071 cases in the last 24 hours. Antoine Fontane, a leading epidemiologist, warned the country could face a “critical situation” in several regions in December if the current rate of infections persists.

Hungary registered a daily record of 576 new cases, bringing the active case count to 4,377. Ireland recorded another 138 new Covid-19 infections.

Spain’s coronavirus cases cross 500,000

Spain has become the first west European country to register over 500,000 cases. The country of around 47 million people has recorded 525,549 cases, 2,440 of them in a day, and 29,516 deaths, since its first case was diagnosed on January 31.

While US cases steadied, governors urged citizens to be cautious during the Labour Day holiday weekend. Australia warned of mounting economic pain as Victoria state announced only a gradual easing of its lockdown that will see retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment under tight controls across Melbourne. Residents could face restrictions until October 26.

World must be prepared for next pandemic: WHO

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday the world must be better prepared for the next pandemic, as he called on countries to invest in public health.

“This will not be the last pandemic,” Tedros said. “History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready – more ready than it was this time.”

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