Coronavirus disaster news from Europe


This 14 May 2020 People’s Assembly video from Britain is called Making Sense of the Crisis: Dangers of Lifting The Lockdown.

Rushed relaxation of coronavirus measures in Germany puts thousands of lives at risk. By Marianne Arens, 15 May 2020. With the general relaxation of the coronavirus measures, cases in schools, retirement homes, local transport, industry and the entire working population are inevitably on the rise again.

By Peter Schwarz, 15 May 2020. The [pro-Big Business establishment party] FDP’s leader in Thuringia, Thomas Kemmerich [who was prime minister for a short time due to help from the neo-fascist AfD party], participated in a demonstration against the measures put in place to restrict the spread of the coronavirus. Like other such mobilisations in Germany, it was dominated by the extreme right.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Hospital manager warns against relaxing [anti-COVID-19 measures] too early in Brabant province

The [Dutch government’s] relaxation of the coronavirus measures is too early for Brabant. That says Bart Berden, chairman of the board of the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg in an interview with De Volkskrant daily.

Berden is afraid of a second wave of infections. “In Brabant, we still have 40 to 45 percent of our Intensive Care capacity full of coronavirus patients. The influx of new corona patients into hospitals also remains high. It is decreasing much less quickly in this province than hoped for and also less quickly than elsewhere in the Netherlands.”

A second wave, between now and three or four months, cannot be absorbed by the hospital as well as the first wave. “Then everything was new. It was all hands on deck and the care staff worked frantically. They can’t do that again in the short term, they just don’t have the energy for that. When that wave would come in the fall, it would be more manageable”.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 15 May 2020:

Unofficial strike action by bus drivers in Belgian capital over COVID-19 fears

As shops reopened Monday in Brussels, Belgium, and passenger numbers surged after the lockdown, bus and tram drivers took wildcat strike action.

The strikers fear the current COVID-19 safety measures are inadequate—face masks, disinfectant and the sealing off of seats adjacent to the driver. They are demanding passengers also wear masks, a limit to the number of passengers on any one bus and the right to abandon the bus if they feel unsafe.

The MIVB public transport service was forced to cancel around a third of scheduled buses. …

Social media protest by Turkish supermarket staff

Employees of Turkish supermarket chain SOK took to social media to protest the imposition of a 14-hour work shift. The chain, which employs 29,000 staff across more than 7,000 stores, extended shifts following the ending of a nationwide temporary curfew on April 26. Workers also protested the lack of adequate protection against coronavirus infection.

The 14-hour shift is in contravention of Turkish labour law limiting the length of the working day to 11 hours. SOK subsequently abandoned the shift but the workforce fears it could be re-imposed following the ending of a three-day curfew in major cities on May 3. …

High levels of COVID-19 infections in German meat processing plants exposed

High levels of COVID-19 infection have hit German meat processing plants. Over 200 cases were recorded at a slaughterhouse in Coesfeld in the west of the country. Infections were recorded at two other sites.

Many workers in the plants are migrants from Romania and Bulgaria on low pay. They are often employed by subcontractors, living in communal accommodation, sharing bedrooms and transported to their workplaces in communal transport. Such working conditions make social distancing impossible and increase the dangers of COVID-19 infection.

Russia ends federal COVID-19 shutdown measures as it surges to second place in infections worldwide. By Andrea Peters, 15 May 2020. There are now more coronavirus infections in Russia than anywhere else in the world, with the exception of the United States and Spain.

1 thought on “Coronavirus disaster news from Europe

  1. Pingback: Singer Bryan Adams echoes Trump’s anti-Chinese racism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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