The rise in cases of the new coronavirus has prompted French and German leaders to introduce a new round of lockdowns to stop the spread of the virus.
During a televised address Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a month-long national lockdown that will take effect Friday. Macron said restaurants, bars, cafes and other non-essential businesses would be closed, while residents would only be allowed to leave their homes for work, shopping and doctor appointments.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a series of similar measures in a month-long lockdown order on Wednesday following a meeting with leaders from 16 federal states. In addition to restaurants and bars, all gyms, theaters and opera houses will be closed on Merkel’s order, which takes effect from Monday, while most businesses, shops and hair salons will be allowed to remain open.
Schools in both countries will remain open during their respective lockdowns.
The restrictions announced by Macron and Merkel as both countries struggle with a record number of new COVID-19 cases on an almost daily basis – with Germany posting nearly 15,000 new cases on Wednesday – creating a situation that has pushed their respective health care systems into their respective systems. . limit.
France and Germany join several other European countries that have been forced to impose a series of new restrictions to deal with a second wave of the virus that continues to escalate as winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere.
As of Thursday morning, there were more than 44.4 million total COVID-19 cases worldwide, including more than 1.1 million deaths. India has reached the milestone of more than 8 million total new coronavirus cases, second only to the United States, with a total of 8.8 million confirmed cases.
As efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine continue, US President Donald Trump’s administration has said it will ensure that everyone in the United States can be inoculated for free.
Seema Verma, head of the federal government’s Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs, announced Wednesday that the agency will cover the cost of vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Verma also said that Medicare and Medicaid Service Centers would cover most of the costs of treating the new COVID-19. Private health plans will also be prohibited from charging their customers anything for vaccines.