FRANCE has extended its lockdowns while panic-buying Germans have stripped shelves as European Covid cases double in just 10 days.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that an overnight coronavirus curfew would be extended to dozens more areas.
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He said: “The second wave is now underway.”
France had a record 41,622 cases overnight as the second wave of the virus continues to take hold in Europe.
The French curfew, which runs from 9pm to 6am, will begin at midnight tonight and will affect around 46 million people.
Mr Castex said: “The coming weeks will be hard and the number of deaths will continue to rise.
“If we fail to stop the pandemic, we will be facing a dire situation and we will have to mull much tougher measures.
“We still have time to avoid that but we don’t have much time.”
The curfew will be in force in Paris and eight other cities including Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse.
They will be extended to 38 further areas as well as Polynesia.
The curfews will last for six weeks.
Meanwhile in Germany, panic-buying shoppers have been hoarding essential supplies like toilet paper amid a rise in Covid cases.
Sales of disinfectant are also on the rise – prompting the German statistics office to warn that “hamster purchases” were beginning again for the first time since the pandemic started.
Toilet paper sales spiked by 89.9 per cent in the past week, while disinfectant sales were up 72.5 per cent and soap rose by 62.3 per cent.
Coronavirus case numbers have rose steadily in Germany in the past few weeks.
The country reported more than 10,000 new daily Covid-19 cases for the first time yesterday.
Across Europe, coronavirus cases have doubled in just 10 days.
The daily total of new cases for the continent passed 200,000 for the first time yesterday.
Europe first had 100,000 new daily cases on October 12.
France, Germany, Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic were among the European nations to set daily records recently.
Europe now has more Covid cases per capita than the United States.
According to the World Health Organisation, Europe now has about half of the world’s new cases – but this is in part due to an increase in testing.
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Spain was the first Western European country to reach one million total cases, while France isn’t far off with 999,043.
In the UK, another 21,242 people tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours – a drop of 5,000 on Wednesday’s highest-ever daily total.
Despite that, cases have risen 12 per cent week-on-week – with Wednesday seeing 26,688 positive tests.