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Omicron In Europe: UK May Relax Curbs, France and Germany Battle Record Covid Surges

A sign shows the requirements to enter restaurants and bars as the spread of Covid-19 continues in Frankfurt, Germany (Image: Reuters)

A sign shows the requirements to enter restaurants and bars as the spread of Covid-19 continues in Frankfurt, Germany (Image: Reuters)

Germany, France and Spain reported large number of Covid-19 cases due to Omicron; UK reported a reduction leading many to speculate a relaxation in curbs

Omicron variant of Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on the healthcare systems of UK and Europe as several nations report record surge in new infections. French health authorities said that the nation recorded a huge surge of daily reported new coronavirus cases with the nation recording 464,769 new cases between Monday and Tuesday.

France was reporting at least 300,000 cases per day for the last one week highlighting that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was spreading unabated for the past one week, according to news agency AFP.

Germany also recorded a large number of infections on Monday. The nation reported 74,405 new cases on Tuesday, taking the number of active cases in Germany to 908,600, according to data published by the Covid-19 centre of the Robert Koch Institute. Germany also recorded 193 deaths.

North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Berlin were among the federal states and regions which reported the largest number of new cases with North Rhine-Westphalia reporting 18,412 new cases on Tuesday. Authorities in Berlin remained concerned as the capital recorded a high density of cases with 11,045 cases among every 100,000. A report by news agency Deutsche Welle said that several testing centres in Berlin were crowded as tests ran out and more people reported falling sick. Berlin’s public transport agencies also said that they will be limiting buses later this week as sick leaves hamper activities.

As the UK reported 94,432 cases on Tuesday, UK health secretary Sajid Javid said that there was some optimism that the government could scale back measures which were brought forth as Omicron ran rampant across the UK. The UK PM Boris Johnson will meet parliamentarians later today and discuss the measures imposed under Plan B of restrictions which are due to end on January 26, according to a report by Reuters.

Spain reported 94,472 new cases and 284 deaths, according to a report by Spanish news agency El Pais. The report also quoted Spanish health experts who said that the cases have dipped for the first time in the last two months. The report however highlighted that the dip should not be mistaken as the end of the wave as health authorities are unable to get the full picture due to an overwhelmed healthcare sector and late reporting of self-test results.

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first published:January 19, 2022, 08:43 IST