Europe, U.S. watch case totals grow, debate new restrictions

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Police detain a man, during a coronavirus anti-lockdown protest on Westminster Bridge, in London, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

CHICAGO – Confirmed coronavirus infections continued to soar Saturday in many parts of the U.S. and Europe. In some cases, so did anger over the restrictions governments put in place to try to stem the tide.

Oklahoma, Illinois, New Mexico and Michigan were among states announcing new record highs in daily confirmed cases Saturday, a day after a nationwide daily record of more than 83,000 reported infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said it’s “now more important than ever that people take this seriously.” The 3,338 new COVID-19 cases in her state topped the old record by more than 1,300.

German authorities reported a record one-day total of new coronavirus cases this weekend while leaders in Spain and Italy debated how to control the resurgent virus amid public pushback to curfews despite a global death toll topping 1.1 million people.

In Italy, officials huddled with regional authorities on Saturday to determine what new restrictions could be imposed as confirmed cases surpassed half a million.

Premier Giuseppe Conte has said he doesn’t want to put Italy under severe lockdown again, as he did at the pandemic’s start. In past days, several governors ordered overnight curfews in their regions to stop people from congregating at night outside bars and other venues.

One such curfew fueled anger in Naples, triggering a violent clash by protesters with police. Italian media said protesters hurled rocks, pieces of broken ceramic tiles and smoke bombs at police while they battled back with tear gas. Elsewhere in Europe, police in Warsaw, Poland, used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protesters angry over new virus restrictions, and anti-lockdown demonstrators gathered in London's Trafalgar Square.

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese on Saturday branded the Naples protests “unacceptable” and said prosecutors were investigating.