Europe swept by COVID wave amid anger at new curbs

ROME: European governments prepared on Tuesday to introduce new restrictions to try to curb a growing surge of coronavirus infections and provide economic balm to help businesses survive the pandemic.
More than 43.4 million people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and 1,158,056 have died, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States leading the way in the number of infections and deaths. World leaders face an increasingly difficult task holding the disease at bay while keeping their economies afloat as they pin their hopes on a possible vaccine. The United States, Russia, France and other countries have registered record numbers of infections in recent days as autumn turns to winter in the Northern Hemisphere and people congregate indoors where the risk of infection grows.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets across Italy on Monday to vent their anger at the latest round of restrictions, including early closing for bars and restaurants, with demonstrations in some cities turning violent. In the financial capital Milan, youths hurled petrol bombs at police, who responded with volleys of tear gas.
In nearby Turin, luxury shops had their windows smashed and some were ransacked, leading to the arrest of 10 rioters.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was expected to approve measures to help companies hit by the new curbs introduced at the weekend after daily infections increased eight-fold in less than a month.
In France, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin warned the country to prepare for “difficult decisions” after some of the strictest restrictions currently in place anywhere in Europe have failed to halt the spread of the disease.
There have been at least 8.54 million reported infections and 251,000 deaths caused by coronavirus in Europe so far, according to latest Reuters data. — Reuters