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Europe epicenter of virus crisis again

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By Andrew Hammond

Europe has been jolted yet again in recent days becoming ― for the second time ― the epicenter of the global pandemic. Yet while most attention is focused on the new healthcare emergency, a serious, sustained second wave of infections could seriously impact the bloc's economic and political prospects too in 2021 and beyond.

The new crisis comes as the continent is still reeling from the impacts of the first wave of the pandemic. The initial coronavirus outbreak from February to the summer wreaked havoc across much of the continent and in the spring more than 65 percent of then-worldwide known deaths attributable to the disease were in the continent.

This month the healthcare crisis has worsened ― again ― and the continent has taken over the mantle from the Americas as the epicenter of the pandemic. Around one third of new global infections are now in Europe (more than other 'hotspots' such as India plus the United States and Brazil combined) and earlier this week the continent also passed the grim milestone of 250,000 coronavirus deaths.

The four worst-hit countries in Europe ― all major regional states ― make up more than half of the continent's 'official' deaths. That is the United Kingdom with almost 44,000 fatalities according to government data; Italy with some 37,000 reported deaths; Spain with almost 34,000 deaths; and France........

© The Korea Times

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