Countries that have managed to contain the infection through spring blockades and have begun relaxing measures are watching the virus return with revenge. Germany, France and the Czech Republic report record numbers of cases in the last two days.
“The autumn / winter surge continues to unfold in Europe with an exponential increase in daily deaths and corresponding percentages of daily deaths,” said WHO Director-General Hans Kluge at a briefing in Europe on Thursday.
According to him, the situation is “of great concern.” the number of cases and hospitalizations is growing daily, and the region has the highest weekly incidence of Covid-19 – almost 700,000 – since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Forecasts of reliable epidemiological models are not optimistic,” Kluge warned. “These models suggest that a long-term relaxing policy could contribute – by January 2021 – to a daily mortality rate of 4 to 5 times higher than we recorded in April.”
He said simple measures such as social distancing and providing the majority of the population in masks could save up to 281,000 lives in Europe by 1 February. Across the bloc, less than 60% of citizens systematically wore masks, while 95% had to adhere, he added.
The surge in Europe surpasses the United States
Estimates of new cases in Europe in its five worst-hit countries – which together have a population similar to the United States – were almost 42% higher than the increase in the United States in the week to October 13.
The seven-day fluctuation of the average number of cases in the United States on October 13 was 49,542, compared with the average daily increase in France, Great Britain, Russia, Spain and the Netherlands by 70,158.
The population of five European countries is 343 million; the US population is 331 million.
According to the French Health Authority, France has set a new record for daily coronavirus cases with 30,621 confirmed cases in 24 hours. This leads to a total of 809 684 confirmed cases in France. An additional 88 deaths lead to 33 125 deaths.
This comes as Paris and nine other French cities prepare for the night curfew, which begins at midnight local time on Friday.
The curfew will run every night from 21:00 to 6:00 for at least four weeks.
Thursday saw a series of searches of the homes and offices of French Health Minister Olivier Veran, director of the country’s national health agency Jerome Solomon and the homes of former members of the government, including former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
The searches were part of a judicial investigation into the management of the coronavirus crisis in France, said the press secretary of the Attorney General Francois Moline CNN. An investigation into the alleged “inability to deal with the disaster” was opened following a series of official complaints from non-profit groups and a team of doctors.
According to prosecutors, searches were also conducted in the homes or offices of former Health Minister Agnes Buzin and former government spokeswoman Sibet Ndiaye, who left the French government as a result of reshuffles in July.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson is also under pressure after the introduction of the three-tier Covid alert system in England, emphasizing local measures, despite calls from the opposition to a two-week national blockade of the “switch”.
Greater Manchester leaders have spoken out against plans to classify the region as a “very high” level 3.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said he and other northwestern regions “unanimously oppose the government’s plans to block Level 3.”
He said the plans were “false and unfair” and that the government was “asking us to gamble, the homes and businesses of our residents and much of our economy a strategy that, according to their own experts, may not work.”
The Office for National Statistics estimates that every week out of 240 people in England, the virus is ill for a week from September 25 to October 1, and the number of infected doubles every seven to 12 days, according to a press release from the UK Department of Health. .
Records are broken all over Europe
In other European countries, such as Poland, Belgium and the Czech Republic, there has also been a sharp increase in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks. On Thursday, Poland reported new cases, rising to 8,099, up 24% from a record 6,526 on Wednesday. According to an analysis of Belgian figures by CNN, the moving average rose from 3,433 new cases per day to 5,421 between 4 and 11 October.
The Czech Republic, which managed to effectively contain the virus at the beginning of the pandemic, broke its record for new infections on Friday for the second day – 9,721 cases in 24 hours. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, it now has a higher rate of infection during the 14-day notification period than any other European member state, reporting 610 cases per 100,000 people.
Germany also broke its record for new coronavirus infections for the second day in a row on Friday, according to the country’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute. Authorities reported 7,334 new infections in 24 hours, about 700 more than the 6,638 records set the previous day.
Germany has recorded 24 new deaths, bringing the total to 9,734 since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of patients with coronavirus in intensive care is also increasing. Official data on Thursday showed that 655 patients in the intensive care unit out of 329 are ventilated. A week earlier, only 487 were in intensive care.
According to the Ministry of Health, on Thursday Italy recorded 8,804 new infections – the highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Schools in Italy’s Campania region are only online for two weeks from Friday, the governor said on Thursday.
Simon Cullen, Eva Tapiero, Martin Goyendo, Pierre Byrin and Gael Fournier took part in the reporting.