Riots and Deaths, as COVID-19 Seeps Through Europe

Jan 26, 2021

The Dutch police were met with angry riots over the new COVID-19 measures. In Eindhoven, protestors ransacked shops, bashed windows, barricaded the streets with bicycles, and threw fireworks. Rioters attacked the police and burnt cars and bicycles. Over 100 people got arrested.

Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, called the riots “criminal violence.” Smaller-sized demonstrations took in other places in the country like Amsterdam, Enschede, and Tilburg.

The Netherlands has been among the last countries to enforce stricter measures like mask-use in public places and curfews. Country leaders told the public they believed that they would be sensible enough to take precautions and did not need to be treated like children. In addition to this, the Netherlands has delayed enrolling in the vaccine program against COVID-19.

What is happening in other countries?

Europe

Several European countries had to resort to strengthening measures, authorizing stricter testing and extending lockdowns. Most of the measures were enforced to prevent the spread of alternative strands of COVID-19 that emerged from the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil.

Belgium, France, Portugal, and Finland are among the countries that announced new travel regulations. Lawmakers are discussing restricting non-essential trips across the member states, despite the fact that travel has already been severely restricted across regions.

The E.U. has already blocked all travel from Britain except for those traveling on essential trips and freight. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the virus will continue to spread rapidly in the coming months.

The United States

The U.S. has recently surpassed 25 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. Despite the high number of cases, the spread of the virus has seen some decline as efforts to vaccinate the public continue.

The U.S. has had more positive cases of the virus than any other country in the world. Next in line is India, with 10.6 million cases. The U.S. also has more deaths than any other country in the world – the number is steadily approaching half a million.

According to the COVID Tracking project, only Nevada has faced rising case rates. Three other states are currently seeing consistent rates in cases, while the rest have seen cases decline.

China

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the world criticized China for its lack of honesty on the severity of the outbreak. Many countries believe that China failed to handle the first phase of the epidemic by silencing whistleblowers.

Donald Trump was one of the main world leaders to point fingers at Beijing, claiming their failure enabled the virus’ spread. On numerous occasions, he dubbed the disease “a Chinese virus.”

However, ten months since the virus first appeared in Wuhan; China has seemingly returned to normal life.

“They have done an amazing job of controlling the virus,” a former official with the international health program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ali Mokdad. However, this success was only possible through strong restrictions on people’s freedom. This is not something that would be publicly tolerated by Western democracies.

“The system that exists in China allows for this central political directive to be taken through to be implemented with enforcement at the local level in a way that doesn’t exist in many other countries around the world,” commented David Harper, a senior fellow with the Global Health Program.

Since April 26, the country with the world’s biggest population of 1.4 billion people has not reported any new deaths from COVID-19.