Tourists wearing a surgical face mask walk by the Trevi Fountain in the center of Rome on 19 August 2020.
VINCENZO PINTO | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – There are growing concerns in Europe about what is seen as an alarming increase in coronavirus cases, where the number of new daily infections is reaching record highs in some countries.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned on Wednesday that the 1
Spain, which has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Europe at 614,360, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University (JHU), is reportedly set to announce targeted lockdowns in places where the virus spreads rapidly, and renewed restrictions on movement on Friday.
Meanwhile, the number of new daily cases reported on Wednesday (9,784) in France was among the highest ever reported in the country. That was just below a record with 10,561 new cases registered on Saturday. The number of people being treated in intensive care units for Covid-19 also rose for the 20th day in a row Wednesday, Reuters reported, to a three-month high of 803. The total number of cases in France, according to the French, is 404,888 Ministry of Health.
In a statement on the rise in cases, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that the virus was circulating “faster and faster in certain parts of the country,” Reuters reported.
The UK, which has the third largest number of cases in Europe, according to JHU data of 380,677, has seen an alarming increase in cases in various parts of the north of England in recent weeks. It has begun to reintroduce measures to limit social gatherings, where the number of people allowed to meet is now limited to six in England. Stricter measures targeting north-east England could be announced on Thursday, the BBC reported.
Italy, which was the epicenter of Europe’s first coronavirus outbreak in February but now has the fourth highest number of reported infections, to date 291,442, has also seen cases rise. The Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that Italy has registered 1,452 new cases in the last 24 hours, up from 1,229 new cases on Tuesday, although this is partly attributed to a sharp increase in coronavirus tests, the news agency ANSA reported. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health noted that Italy sees the highest number of active cases since June with 40,532 people currently infected with coronavirus.
Germany, which was considered a poster child for its handling of the first wave of coronavirus cases, which has managed to keep the death toll low compared to the number of cases, has seen a slight increase in cases.
The Robert Koch Institute, which monitors the epidemic in Germany, said on Wednesday that “the increase in the number of reported cases since mid-July had stabilized at a slightly higher level in calendar week 35 (beginning August 24) and 36, but since calendar week 37 a small increase can be seen again. “It added that more young people have been infected in recent weeks.
So far, the number of deaths from rising infections has been significantly lower than in the spring and early summer, when the virus first hit Europe, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that this may change as winter approaches.
‘The pandemic is not over’
The increase in the number of reported infections is partly attributed to more sophisticated and active testing regimes in Europe, but the ECDC said on Wednesday that “although increased testing contributes to better awareness of all ongoing transmission, it is not the only reason for the increase in Covid-19 cases. “It linked the increase to the easing of physical distance and other preventive measures.
“As schools reopen and more indoor activities are held, the number of cases comes as a reminder that the pandemic is not over,” warned the ECDC, reminding the public to continue basic measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including hand washing. , face masks and self-insulation when you feel sick.
There are concerns that health systems could be overwhelmed as winter approaches, and the ECDC noted that as the flu season approaches, preparedness in health systems across Europe is “vital”.
“This includes essential services, primary care facilities and hospitals that ensure appropriate surge plans in the event of high demand for the care of patients with respiratory distress,” it said.