Portugal, Hungary hunker down against Europe's virus surge

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal and Hungary have become the latest European countries on Monday to impose curfews against the rise of coronaviral and death infections on the continent and to file its emergency services. LISBON, Portugal (AP)

But there was glimmer of hope that tough restrictions could begin to work from France, the Czech Republic and Belgium.

In recent weeks Portugal has imposed a state of emergency which, like other European countries, has seen cases and hospital admissions increase and ordered around 7 million – about 70 per cent of its population – to stay at home on weekdays at 11 p.m.

To 5 o'clock.

The next two weeks at least.

You can only purchase essentials in supermarkets during the weekends, and only morning until 1 p.m.

"If they don't do, we have to comply," said the 44-year-old Lisbon laundry worker Miriam Ferreira.

The Government of Portugal has warned that if they have proved to be insufficient, its measures may be extended and extended.

Hungary's strictest measures have also been imposed so far.

Viktor Orban announced at 8 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Curfew, with the exception of commuters.

All companies have to close at 7 p.m.

Other actions in Hungary reflected the deprivation of the familiarity of those in Europe as the virus reappears, including limits on restaurants, sports events and families and high school and university students' distance learning.

The restrictions start at midnight on Tuesday and last at least 30 days.

"That isn't going to be easy, we all know.

The weeks ahead are going to be hard.

But the vaccine is in sight, and until that time we have to hold it, "said Orban.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced last week that in December there will be an additional final test of small shipments of Russian coronavirus vaccines and more large-scale deliveries in mid- to late January.

The Government of France has gradually moved up to what is today a full-blown national closure from localized curfews or closures of bars or other targeted companies, although schools and major enterprises are open.

Health Minister Olivier Veran indicated early that the measures could begin to delay the latest rise in France and that without them it would "be more quickly and strongly flared."

The situation was nevertheless grim in French hospitals and nursing homes as emergency departments were nearing saturation and some sick patients were evacuated from difficult hospitals to others still having room.

France has Europe's highest cumulative population of recorded cases and the world's fourth highest with more than 1,8 million infections since the onset of the health crisis.

There have been reports of success in combating the virus from two other European nations.

Hard-struck countries' parcial lockdown have seen hospital admission peak coming and going, Belgian health authorities are confident.

Virologist Yves Van Laethem told a news conference that about 400 people had been hospitalized because of complications of coronavirus on a Sunday versus 879 people on November 3.

"The summit of hospital admissions was reached that day, subject to an unpleasant surprise," Van Laethem said.

In Belgian hospitals, around 6,948 virus patients are now treated, down from around 500 since 3 November.

Belgium returned to partial lock-up measures, including shutdowns, bars and restaurants, and extending its autumn school holidays, to break up the transmission chain.

After two months of an upward growth, the number of hospitalized people also fell to below the 8 000 mark, infections in the Czech Republic began to decline.

The situation was moving elsewhere on the increasingly dilapidated continent.

Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, said unity among countries would be essential in the future.

"Of COVID-19 we may be tired, but it isn't weary.

Yes, it has prey on people in weak health but it is also prey to other weaknesses, i.e., unfairness, division, denial and wishful thinking and willful ignore, "he said.

Political rhetoric or conspiracy theories are disregarded.

Science, solutions and solidarity are our only hope.

On Monday, Russia reported a record number of new daily infections-21,798 cases, more than 1,000 times the previous one-but 256 cases per day, well below the highest number.

Russia, overall, has recorded nearly 1.8 million infections and 30.793 deaths, but officials have said that no national lockdown will be imposed.

From Budapest, Hungary, Spike reported.

Jamey Keaten in Geneva, Sam Petrequin in Brussels, Jim Heintz in Moscow and other AP journalists were also contributions by John Leicester in Le Pecq, France.