Europe on high alert as coronavirus cases rise
September 17, 2020 @ 11:07 +03:00
There are growing concerns in Europe at what is being seen as an alarming rise in coronavirus cases, with the number of new daily infections reaching record highs in some countries. The increases in the number of reported infections has, in part, been attributed to more sophisticated and active testing regimes in Europe, but the ECDC said Wednesday that “although increased testing contributes to better awareness of all ongoing transmission, it is not the only reason for the increase of Covid-19 cases.” It linked the rise to the relaxation of physical distancing and other preventive measures. There are concerns that healthcare systems could be overwhelmed as winter nears and the ECDC noted that, as flu season approaches, the preparedness of healthcare systems across Europe is “vital.”
Spain, which has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Europe at 614,360, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University (JHU), is reportedly set to announce targeted lockdowns in places where the virus is spreading rapidly, and renewed restrictions of movement on Friday. Meanwhile in France, the number of new daily cases reported Wednesday (9,784) was among the highest ever reported in the country. It was just below an all-time record of 10,561 new cases recorded on Saturday. The number of people being treated in intensive care units for Covid-19 also rose for the 20th straight day Wednesday, Reuters reported, to a three-month high of 803. The total number of cases in France stands at 404,888, according to the French Health Ministry.
The U.K., which has the third-highest number of cases in Europe, at 380,677 according to JHU data, has seen an alarming rise in cases across various parts of northern England in recent weeks. Italy, which was the epicenter of Europe’s first coronavirus outbreak in February but now has the fourth-highest number of reported infections, at 291,442 to date, has also seen cases rise. The health ministry said Wednesday that Italy has registered 1,452 new cases in the last 24 hours, up from 1,229 new cases on Tuesday.
Germany, which was seen as a poster-child for its handling of the first wave of the coronavirus cases, having managed to keep its death toll low compared to its number of cases, has seen a slight rise in cases.
“This includes essential services, primary care facilities and hospitals ensuring appropriate surge capacity plans in case of a high demand for the care of patients with respiratory distress,” it said.
Europe on high alert as coronavirus cases rise, CNBC, Sep 17