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Another deadly wave of coronavirus is spreading across Europe – leading to fears the UK could be next.
Countries across the continent are plunging into a new lockdown to cope with the latest spread, which has been linked to the EU's handling of vaccinations.
The roll out of the AstraZeneca jab in the EU has been affected by supply issues and concerns over its safety.
France was one of one of around a dozen European countries that suspended the use of the British Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this week, after concerns the jab could be linked to blood clots.
But overnight the European Medicines Agency confirmed that it was "safe and effective”, as nations resumed rollouts.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has urged the government to remain cautious but has not suggested any changes to Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, The Times reports.
The Kent variant which saw cases spike in Britain towards the end of 2020, is now the most prominent version of Covid-19 spreading across Europe, the report says.
A government source told the paper that they are keeping a close eye on Europe's situation, adding: “It’s a fact that when waves one and two hit Europe they hit us afterwards.”
French authorities have forced Paris into a month-long lockdown on the back of almost 35,000 coronavirus cases being recorded in the space of 24-hours. Scientists estimate that the South African variant makes up 5% to 10% of these cases.
Drastic measures have also been taken in Italy where large swathes of the country were plunged back into lockdown this week after cases nearly doubled in a month, with all schools and non-essential retail forced to shut, The Sun reports.
Over in Germany, chancellor Angela Merkel is considering pushing back plans toreopen the economy as a result of rising infections and hospitalisations.
Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, on Friday said the country was “at the beginning of the third wave” as the country recorded 17, 860 infections – its highest daily caseload in a month.
The highest total of cases in Poland this year has led to leaders bringing in nationwide restrictions to address the 27,276 infections reported on Thursday.
- Boris Johnson
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