The second wave of the coronavirus lands in Europe. As predicted by many epidemiologists and medical institutions, after the parenthesis lived by the summer holidays, the Covid-19 has been noticed and the number of positives keeps growing, motivating executives in countries across Europe to once again take virus containment measures.
“There is no doubt, now we see a second wave looming. We see it in France, in Spain, throughout Europe. It is inevitable that we will see it in this country as well,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last Friday. And it is not for less, since the figures at European level are alarming: the record for positives in one day occurred on September 11, with 54,000. Until then, the highest registered data was for the month of April, where 43,000 infections occurred in 24 hours.
Regarding this data, the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe, Hans Kluge, said that “the September figures should serve as an alarm for everyone.” In addition, he noted that, “although these numbers reflect that more tests have been done, they also show alarming transmission rates in the region. The situation is very serious”.
According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the number of positive cases reported has been growing for more than 50 consecutive days. The agency admits that it has coincided with the return to school of millions of children, along with the return to a certain level of presence at work, but they also attribute it to a relaxation on the part of the European population of the Covid-19 prevention measures.
Spain and France at the head of Europe
In a ranking that no one wants to lead, the one with the highest rate of infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, Spain is not only in first position, but has forced to change the established values to qualify an area as’ high risk’. On September 4, the European Commission established a color code to identify the areas with the highest incidence of the virus, in which it was determined that those places that present more than 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last few years would be considered as such. 14 days. The current reality is that Spain has twice as much, 300.5 positives per 100 thousand inhabitants, with some districts in Madrid that exceed 1,000 cases. Thus, it has pulverized the European reference taken just two weeks ago.
The case of France also exceeds the criteria initially established by the European Commission, since the rate of infections in the last 14 days is 185.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. Additionally, the daily positives do not stop growing, to the point that last Saturday, September 19 registered its maximum number of cases in 24 hours, with 13,498. In addition, cities like Paris already have a hospital pressure of 20%.
For this reason, the French authorities have already established new virus containment measures, such as the compulsory use of masks in the points with the highest incidence, such as Paris, Bordeaux or Marseille, meetings of a maximum of 10 people and greater limitation of capacity in hotels and cultural events.
The rest of the countries, forewarned and trying to get ahead of events
For the United Kingdom, the epidemiological situation is also worrying. In the last two weeks, its rate of new cases is 69.3, a much better figure when compared to Spain and France, but one that is of concern in the country. In addition, last Friday it registered 4,422 new cases, the highest number of daily infections registered in the United Kingdom since last May. Boris Johnson has therefore banned gatherings of more than 6 people, launched new restrictions that focus on entertainment and noted: “I would not want to enter a second national shutdown. The only way we can prevent it is that people follow the prevention guide “.
For their part, Italy (33.5) and Germany (25.8) are at low levels in terms of the contagion ratio in 14 days, but they do not lower their guard since in recent days they are returning to a number of positives similar to the May data. Portugal follows in the wake and reported last Friday its highest number of new positives since the peak of the pandemic, with Lisbon as the main affected city, and expanding prevention measures are being studied.
The Czech Republic and the Netherlands have also registered records of positives in a single day, so they are beginning to re-implant the mandatory mask. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte delivered a speech last Friday warning his population: “With an R (reproduction rate) of 1.4, the number of infections will grow in three weeks to more than 10,000 per day. You don’t have to be a mathematician or a virologist to understand that these kinds of numbers will inevitably impact hospitals. ”
Finally, Austria is another of the countries that is suffering the impact of the virus. “What we are experiencing at the moment is the beginning of the second wave,” said its Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, on September 13. Furthermore, Kurz admitted that the epidemiological situation in Vienna is “particularly dramatic” after exceeding 1,000 new cases a day and has established new measures to try to stop the spread of the virus.