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France says fifth COVID wave hitting at ‘lightning’ speed

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* Violence erupts at COVID-19 curb protest in Brussels
* Netherlands rocked by second night of riots
 COVID-19 patients at an Intensive Care Unit at a hospital in Paris, France.
COVID-19 patients at an Intensive Care Unit at a hospital in Paris, France.

FRANCE, BELGIUM, THE NETHERLANDS: Fifth-wave coronavirus infections in France are rising at an alarming rate, the Government reported yesteray, with new daily COVID cases close to doubling over the past week.

The seven-day average of new cases reached 17,153 on Sunday, up from 9,458 a week earlier, according to the health authorities, an increase of 81 per cent.

“The fifth wave is starting at lightning speed,” Government spokesman Gabrial Attal told media.

The latest seven-day increase is three times the average rise of cases recorded over the previous three weeks, indicating an exponential acceleration of infections.

For now the spike in infections has not led to a massive influx of Covid patients into hospitals, with the authorities attributing the limited number of intensive care patients to France’s high rate of vaccinations which appear highly effective against the most dangerous forms of Covid.

Meanwhile, Violence broke out at a protest against anti-COVID measures in Brussels, Belgium on Sunday, in which police said tens of thousands of people took part.

The march began peacefully but police later fired water cannon and tear gas in response to protesters throwing projectiles.

Police told Belga news agency that three police officers were injured in the rioting, without giving further details.

Several of the demonstrators caught up in the clash wore hoods and carried Flemish nationalist flags, while others wore Nazi-era yellow stars.

Police said 35,000 protesters marched from the North Station in Brussels against a fresh round of COVID measures announced by the Government on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Dutch Police said on Sunday they had arrested 48 people after a second night of violent riots erupted over the government’s coronavirus measures.

The two nights of unrest in a number of cities came a week after the Dutch Government went into a partial lockdown over a surge in cases. In The Hague on Saturday night, officers in riot gear charged demonstrators who set fire to bicycles and an electric moped piled in the middle of a busy intersection.

“The police were also pelted with heavy fireworks and stones thrown from roofs,” police said in a statement, adding that water cannon was used to put out the fire.


Tuesday, November 23, 2021 – 01:00

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