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France and Germany Thrust into Lockdown as Second COVID-19 Wave Sweeps Europe

The virus is circulating more quickly than imagined

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered their countries back into lockdown on Wednesday, as a massive second wave of coronavirus infections threatened to overwhelm Europe before the winter.

World stock markets went into a dive in response to the news that Europe’s biggest economies were imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations.

“The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated,” Macron said in a televised address. “Like all our neighbors, we are submerged by the sudden acceleration of the virus.”

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