- Germany, Italy, and other countries in Europe enforced new lockdown measures as COVID-19 cases rise.
- Infectious disease expert Lothar Wieler said the third COVID-19 wave in Germany had “already begun.”
- Much of Europe has lagged behind the US and the UK in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Italy, the first country to enter into a nationwide lockdown in Europe back in March 2020, imposed new restrictions on March 15, 2021, to slow the third wave.
Italy’s seven-day average of new cases has increased steadily in March. The country is reporting more than 22,000 average cases per seven days, and 360 average deaths per seven days.
Source: The New York Times
France resisted pressure to impose another lockdown as of March 17. Emergency resuscitation units in France are at the highest capacity since November.
France’s leading doctors urged President Emmanuel Macron to impose a lockdown, and said failing to do so would cost lives.
Source: The Times
Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, told reporters the third COVID-19 wave in Germany had “already begun” in early March.
Dirk Brockmann, an epidemiologist at the Robert Koch Institute, said COVID-19 cases had risen “exponentially” due to easing restrictions too soon and the spread of transmissible variants.
Germany extended its coronavirus shutdown until March 28.
Source: Associated Press
Doctors criticized the country’s slow vaccine rollout: Germany vaccinated fewer than 10% of its population as of mid-March.
Source: Deutsche Welle
Hungary, which has had a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and online-only high school classes since November, imposed new restrictions in early March. The country now requires businesses to close doors for two weeks, allowing only grocery stores and pharmacies to stay open.
Source: Associated Press
One thousand supporters of Hungary’s far-right party, Mi Hazank Mozgalom, held a demonstration demanding an end to the restrictions. The country’s daily new COVID-19 case count is at an all-time high.
Poland announced a three-week partial lockdown, closing shops, hotels, and theaters starting March 20. The country reported 25,052 new COVID-19 cases this week, the highest toll in 2021.
The Czech Republic deployed police officers and soldiers to enforce lockdown measures in early March that aim to get citizens to stay home.
Much of Europe has lagged behind the US and the UK in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine due to supply shortages.
Many European countries – including Germany and Italy – paused the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as investigators look into reports of blood clots in a handful of recipients. The World Health Organizations urged countries to continue using AstraZeneca’s vaccine, and said blood clots are one of the most common cardiovascular conditions globally.
AstraZeneca said their vaccine offers less protection against mild disease caused by the COVID-19 variant first discovered in South Africa, but offers the same efficacy against two other major variants.