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Outbreaks and demonstrations in Europe due to COVID

After several weeks of enjoying the summer, some European countries have again imposed restrictions due to regrowth, something that has not pleased thousands of citizens.

A girl in a mask sitting on her porch during the coronavirus shutdown.

The measures taken by governments in the face of the outbreak of the virus have caused protests and discontent from citizens. / Photo: Rawpixel

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Rebrotes y manifestaciones por COVID en Europa

Since the end of July, the cases of Coronavirus in Europe have increased again, which led this weekend to complete the 25 million infections in the world. These countries began to resume their normal activities months ago, with the intention of boosting trade, also taking advantage of the summer months. For a few weeks it seemed that everything was going well and while Latin America increased its restrictions, Europeans resumed normality.

However, since July things have changed again as it began to reappear in many European cities. Fearing the arrival of a second wave, some governments have put restrictions and confinement measures again. Countries like Spain and France went from having around 300 cases a day in June to even 10,000 on some days in August.

According to experts, factors such as a rapid de-escalation and some cultural issues have given rise to these outbreaks increasing and putting countries that had already passed their first peak in danger. However, this does not come as a surprise, since from the beginning, epidemiologists around the world have warned of a second wave that, it seems, is already reaching Europe.

As a result, countries have again taken steps to prevent infections from getting worse. In Spain nightlife was deactivated again, while other countries such as the United Kingdom and France have once again put restrictions on travelers. Despite the increase, authorities in some countries, such as Spain, have indicated that the infections are focused so it will be easier to contain it.

Also read: Misconceptions about weather and seasonality impact COVID-19 response

In the midst of this situation, governments have once again faced the difficult decision to close businesses to preserve health, undeniably affecting the economy. According to Forbes magazine, these outbreaks will make the fall in GDP even greater than previously believed. Therefore, the numbers - already quite pessimistic - that have been forecast, could be much worse.

Entities such as the Institute for Economic Studies and the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility, expected this quarter to have growth of up to 15 percent, which would try to offset the 18.5 percent drop in the second quarter. These estimates have changed again as new sprouts loom, and the 15 point growth seems to be moving farther and farther away.

Protests over restrictions

Meanwhile citizens confront governments by protesting against restrictive measures. This was the case in Germany, where at least 38,000 people gathered in the streets and in front of the Parliament in Berlin. Although it was mostly peaceful, a few hundred people were detained in different parts of the city, especially in front of Parliament when they jumped the police cordon.

The protesters were mostly far-right people who demanded that they be allowed to decide what they would do in the face of the coronavirus, since the measures would restrict many of their daily experiences, which violates basic rights and freedoms established in the Constitution. The protest was allowed under a court order, as long as biosecurity measures were maintained. These, however, were not respected and for this reason some arrests were also made. The facts were rejected by all political sectors, regardless of political ideologies.

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