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Winter Brings COVID Cases To Records Across Europe

The highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic was reported in Germany with 33,949 new infections.

Russia and Ukraine are also experiencing the highest numbers of cases.

Daily coronavirus infections have been surging to a record level in Austria, increasing the likelihood of a lockdown for unvaccinated people.

The number of cases of COVID-19 in England reached its highest level ever in October, Imperial College London said, mainly due to a surge in cases among children.

Hungary reported 6,268 new cases daily, an increase of more than double from last week. Slovakia reported 6,713 new cases, also a record.

Polish daily cases peaked at 15,515 on Thursday, the highest level since April in Eastern Europe’s largest economy. Slovenia and Croatia also recorded a high record of daily infections on Thursday.

Ahead of the Olympics, China is on high alert

A growing outbreak of COVID-19 is prompting China to step up restrictions near its ports of entry as a precaution against bringing cases in from overseas less than 100 days before the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Restrictions and curbs have also heightened for next week when the Communist Party top brass will gather in the capital for a major meeting.

In China, more than 700 cases of locally transmitted diseases have been reported since mid-October.

Beijing’s zero-tolerance policy has resulted in more restrictions despite the relatively small number compared with other countries.

According to the finance minister, Hungary has cut its GDP growth forecast for 2021 to 6.8% from 7.0-7.5%, citing price increases, rising energy costs, and COVID-19 risks, which point to the prospect of new restrictions in a country where there are so few restrictions now.

Slovakia’s finance ministry lowered its growth forecasts in September, predicting that COVID-19 cases will lead to a new wave of consumer demand and labor market in 2019.

However, the effects will not be as severe as earlier in the pandemic.

More so, according to Poland’s central bank, expectations remain unchanged.

A NEW CURB

Hungarian authorities have urged people to take up vaccinations.

Its authorities announced last week that state institutions must assign vaccinations, as well as empowering private companies for their employees when necessary.

There have been tightened rules on mask wear and measures to curb infections in Romania – whose hospitals can’t cope with an increase in COVID-19 patients – as well as in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland.

Vaccination proof and a test are required for restaurant customers in the Czech Republic. Additionally, mask regulations have become more rigid, and some children in schools in areas which have a high prevalence of cases are being tested again.

Across Poland, it is mandatory to wear a mask in enclosed public areas, while cinemas, theaters, and hotels maintain a 75% capacity limit.

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