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Closing schools is latest front in virus fight

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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, Belgium, and Netherlands have joined Spain as Europe’s current hot spots during the resurgence of COVID-19. Russia and many other countries are following the same unnerving trend. France has declared a curfew in Paris and other regions and will restore a state of health emergency, making it easier to apply more controls if needed.

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