The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Covid-19: Record infections in Czech Republic as Europe struggles to stop spread.

Coronavirus infection rates in Europe are soaring as the Czech Republic have hit a new record for the second time this week, the health ministry said.

It announced that the daily tally jumped to 22,936 on Friday, almost 500 more than the previous record set on Tuesday.

The country’s infection rate has risen to 929 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.

In a worrying sign, 110 people died on Thursday, the ministry said, with the daily death toll surpassing 100 for the first time since April.

Austria will become the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full Covid-19 lockdown, it said on Friday as neighbouring Germany warned it may follow suit.

Europe has again become the epicentre of the pandemic, accounting for half of global cases and deaths.

In the Netherlands, crowds of several hundred rioters in Rotterdam torched cars, set off fireworks and threw rocks at police during protests against Covid-19 measures. Police responded with warning shots and water cannons.

Authorities had reported a record of more than 23,000 new cases on Thursday, well above the previous daily high of 13,000 reached in December 2020.

The Czech government has approved new restrictions to tackle the surge, targeting the unvaccinated in an effort to increase a vaccination rate that is below the European Union average.

Starting on Monday, most unvaccinated people will no longer be allowed to show negative coronavirus tests in order to attend public events, go to bars and restaurants, visit hairdressers, museums and similar facilities or use hotels.

Only people who are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will remain eligible.

Overall, the nation of 10.7 million has registered almost two million cases with 32,005 deaths.

Slovakia

Meanwhile, its neighbour Slovakia reported 9,171 new coronavirus cases for Friday, its biggest daily tally since the pandemic began, health ministry data showed on Saturday.

The country of 5.5 million earlier in the week tightened restrictions on people who have not had Covid-19 shots.

With a seven-day incidence of 11,500 new cases per million inhabitants, the country has the worst reported epidemic situation in the world, according to Our World in Data statistics.

Russia

Russia’s record high coronavirus death toll has persisted for a second straight day, as the number of new infections declined.

The state coronavirus task force reported 1,254 Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, matching Friday’s tally.

The task force also reported 37,120 new confirmed cases.

The daily new infections in recent weeks appear to have a downward trend but still remain higher than during previous surges of the virus.

The high number of infections and deaths come amid low vaccination rates and lax public attitudes towards taking precautions.

About 40 per cent of Russia’s nearly 146 million people have been fully vaccinated, even though the country approved a domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine months before most of the world.

In total, the coronavirus task force has reported nearly 9.3 million confirmed infections and 262,843 Covid-19 deaths, by far the highest death toll in Europe.

Some experts believe the true figure is even higher.

Reports by Russia’s statistical service Rosstat which tally coronavirus-linked deaths retroactively reveal much higher mortality.

They say 462,000 people with Covid-19 died between April 2020 and September of this year.

Russian officials have said the task force only includes deaths for which Covid-19 was the main cause, and uses data from medical facilities.

Rosstat uses wider criteria for counting virus-related deaths and takes its numbers from civil registry offices where registering a death is finalised. – AP/Reuters

New disturbing revelations at Ghislaine Maxwell trial.

New disturbing revelations at Ghislaine Maxwell trial.

Journalist Vicky Ward discusses what we learned during the first week of Ghislaine Maxwell's trial, the former girlfriend of convicted pedophile and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. #CNN #News

1 1

Trump mocks top general at his Florida resort

Trump mocks top general at his Florida resort

Former Pence adviser Olivia Troye discusses a newly surfaced clip of former President Donald Trump mocking General Mark Milley from his resort in Florida. #CNN #News

Facebook Messenger has new bill-splitting feature

Facebook Messenger has new bill-splitting feature

"Split Payments" allows users to pay expenses they share with others.

Trump ally to challenge Republican governor of Georgia.

Trump ally to challenge Republican governor of Georgia.

Former Senator David Perdue is set to challenge Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp after President Trump harshly criticized Kemp for not overturning President Biden’s election win in Georgia. #CNN #News

Migrant crisis: Is the EU ignoring human suffering? - DW News.

Migrant crisis: Is the EU ignoring human suffering? - DW News.

Pope Francis has harshly criticized Europe for what he says is the exploitation of migrants for political purposes. The Pontiff was speaking during his visit to a migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. The island is a main entry point for mig...

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denies existence of smash-and-grab robberies amid crime surge.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denies existence of smash-and-grab robberies amid crime surge.

Former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind joined 'Fox & Friends First' to discuss AOC's denial, calling her a 'danger.' #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour ...

6 2065