France: Brittany variant of coronavirus discussed by experts
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Christian Drosten, a virologist at Berlin’s Charité hospital, told the Guardian that Germany’s coronavirus state of affairs was “not good right now”. The emergence of the B117 variant, which originated in the UK, has only worsened the situation.
The UK variant accounts for about three-quarters of new infections in the country.
Mr Dronten has also raised concerns about the suspension of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, adding that in Germany “we need this vaccine.”
The expert pointed out that, by Easter, Germany could see similar figures to the those of around Christmas.
He added: “The situation could get drastically worse.”
The warning comes after Italy brought into force a new lockdown for its worst-affected regions.
The stringent restrictions are expected to curb the spread of the virus as hospitals across the country face being overwhelmed.
Rome and Milan are among the country’s biggest cities affected by new measures, which apply to three-quarters of the population.
Italian Prime minister Mario Draghi warned the nation is facing a “new wave” of the pathogen.
In France, Paris hospitals have allegedly become overwhelmed, with ICU doctors having to decide when to discharge patients being treated.
An ICU doctor at Bry-Sur-Marne Hospital, Serge Carriera told France 24 how healthcare professionals will decide how to free up beds if the situation becomes unbearable.
He said: “Our backup plan is to discharge patients earlier than planned.
“It’s not perfect but it’s the only solution we have.”
Europe was warned by EU finance expert Matthew Lynn that its response to the pandemic could unravel an economic “catastrophe” across the eurozone.
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Mr Lynn said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s panel of economic advisers had already cut their growth forecast for Germany this year.
French president Emmanuel Macron has been forced to put the nation back in lockdown due to the situation in its hospitals.
Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Lynn said: “So far that has mainly been a health catastrophe, but very soon it will turn into an economic one as well.
“Greece sparked the first eurozone crisis, but the vaccine debacle will ignite the second one.”
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