Europe Today: Closing schools is latest front in virus fight

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By KAREL JANICEK and JOSEPH WILSON Associated Press

PRAGUE (AP) — Dark splotches that indicate zones of high coronavirus contagion are staining maps of Europe blood red as governments scramble to prevent another round of total lockdowns, even by taking unpopular decisions to close schools, bars and gyms.

The Czech Republic has overtaken Spain as Europe’s biggest hot spot during the resurgence of COVID-19 . Britain, France, Belgium, Russia and many other countries are following the same unnerving trend.

Medical centers are generally better prepared than during the first wave of the pandemic. But many medical workers are demoralized by what they see the ineffective leadership of authorities who have tried to protect public health as well as ailing economies.

European countries, and even regions inside countries, are applying drastically contrasting strategies. In one area bars are considered breeding grounds of outbreaks, while across the border or city limits, schools are deemed viral cauldrons. Here’s a look at key virus topics in Europe:

A SCRAMBLE AS SCHOOLS CLOSE IN CZECH REPUBLIC, NORTHERN IRELAND
The Czech Republic opted to close schools Wednesday to lower an accumulated…



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