“We are definitely not in the situation from March to April yet, but there are reasons to fear that we could get there again,” said Manuel Franco, a researcher and professor of epidemiology at the University of Alcalá de Henares.
On Monday, authorities in Madrid returned parts of the capital region to a lockdown affecting about 850,000 residents. This, as well as the resurgence of the virus, has provoked bitter accusations, with critics claiming the government squandered the hard-won achievements of its first lock-up by opening the country’s borders to revive the battered tourism industry.
In Germany, which handles the virus better than many of its neighbors, there is concern about a spike in infections, but less about hospitalizations. Of the 9,396 people infected with the virus in recent weeks, only 267 need intensive treatment, with just over half on respirators.
“We know much more than six months ago,” Jens Spahn, Germany’s health minister, told public broadcaster ARD, citing increased German testing capacity, protective equipment and intensive care beds.
Britain, like Germany, has made progress in strengthening its National Health Service for another round of battles, but lags far behind Germany in building a national testing and tracking system. He finally launched his smartphone app in England and Wales on Thursday, which he hopes will allow him to track the virus better.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said the number of people hospitalized with the virus in Britain was doubling every seven to eight days and that deaths would multiply, “potentially on an exponential curve”. If the virus spreads uncontrollably, it could lead to 50,000 new cases a day until October and 200 deaths a day until November, according to Patrick Valance, chief scientific adviser.