The fear of a second wave of the pandemic COVID-19 grows in Europe at the continuing increase in cases in countries such as Germany, France, Spain, and the UK, installed in recent days in an expansion rate of the virus over the thousand positives every twenty-four hours.
The situation is also deteriorating in Croatia, which has recorded a record 180 infections in 24 hours, a figure that is almost double the peak of 95 it reached in early April.
Finland has tripled the rate of infections in a month, to exceed 150 cases a week, and the Government has advised for the first time in the Nordic country the use of the mask and return to telework as far as possible.
The worst figures since May
Countries such as Germany and Spain have once again reported figures that were not seen since May.
Berlin has verified 1,445 new infections in the last twenty-four hours, which maintains in Germany above a thousand cases a day, a barrier that it exceeded for the first time last week after several months below.
In total, the accumulated positives in that country reach 219,964 and the death toll rises to 9,211.
In France , daily cases have also risen, to 2,669, after reporting 2,524 yesterday, a figure that almost doubled the 1,397 on Tuesday.
The French country has accumulated 30,338 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, after 18 deaths in hospitals in the last twenty-four hours.
The Spanish Government notified meanwhile 2,935 new infections, including positive balance in the region of Madrid that was not reflected in statistics on Wednesday.
UK changes methodology
The United Kingdom reported 18 deaths from COVID-19, after a change in the methodology to count the deaths that have removed 5,377 deaths from the official register.
As of this Friday, the British authorities will only count as coronavirus deaths those that have occurred within a period of 28 days since the patient tested positive, a criterion that was already used in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, but not in England.
With this modification, the cumulative total of deaths in the United Kingdom since the pandemic began has gone from 46,706 yesterday to 41,347 reported today.
The central government did not receive data on positive cases in England today, so it has not updated the number of new infections in the country as a whole.
After two consecutive days of over 1,000 daily infections, the accumulated total of infections in the country since the pandemic began remains at 313,798.
Widespread increase in cases
The increase in cases is generalized in the continent. In Italy, 523 positives have been recorded, compared to 481 on Wednesday, while six more deaths have been registered.
With the new positives, a total of 252,235 infected people have been detected in the country since the emergency broke out on February 21, with the first local cases in the northern region of Lombardy.
Portugal has reported six new deaths and 325 more infections, of which 204 occurred in the Lisbon region, and the country has a cumulative total of 1,770 deaths and 53,548 infections.
New travel restrictions
Faced with the renewed spread of the virus, various governments are adopting new measures to try to avoid the importation of new cases.
Belgium has indicated that the Brussels airport will set up a mobile laboratory in early September that will allow PCR tests to be carried out on passengers coming from areas considered at risk and those who are about to leave.
The Belgian authorities maintain regions of Spain, France, and the United Kingdom, among other locations, as “red zones” to which travel is not allowed and require a test of travelers who have passed through them.
Italy and Greece have also joined the countries this week that impose sanitary control measures on those arriving from Spain, thus adding to the 18 Schengen countries that already recommended or required diagnostic tests or quarantines for these travelers.
Denmark has added Belgium and Malta to a list of countries to which it advises against traveling that already included Andorra, Spain, Romania, Luxembourg, and Bulgaria.
Waiting for the vaccine
The European Commission (EC) announced that it has concluded “exploratory” talks with the US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson to acquire at least 200 million doses of a potential future vaccine against the coronavirus and open the possibility of buying an additional 200 million.
After Russia announced this week the registration of the world’s first vaccine, which has raised doubts and criticism among the international community, the World Health Organization (WHO) today warned of the emergence of a “vaccine nationalism” in the race to find a remedy against the virus.