Countries that have managed to control the rate of infection through spring blockades and started relaxing measures are watching the return of the virus with revenge, with Germany, France and the Czech Republic reporting record cases in the last two days.
“Tensions in the autumn / winter continue to develop in Europe with an exponential increase in daily deaths and a corresponding increase in daily deaths,” WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge said at a briefing on Thursday.
He said the situation was “very worrying” with daily case numbers and hospital admissions, and the region has recorded its highest weekly incidence of Covid-19 cases ̵
“Forecasts from reliable epidemiological models are not optimistic,” Kluge warned. “These models show that long-term relaxing policies could stimulate – by January 2021 – daily mortality at levels 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 with masks could save up to 281,000 lives in Europe by 1 February. In the entire bloc, less than 60% of citizens systematically wear masks, while 95% compliance is needed, he added.
The excitement in Europe surpasses the United States
The European sum of new cases in the five most affected countries – which together have a population similar to the United States – was nearly 42% higher than the increase in the United States in the week to October 13.
The seven-day moving average of new JHU cases in the United States was 49,542 on October 13, compared with an average daily increase of 70,158 in France, Britain, Russia, Spain and the Netherlands.
The population of the five European countries is 343 million; the US population is 331 million.
France set a new record for daily coronavirus cases on Thursday with 30,621 new confirmed cases in 24 hours, according to data released by the French health authority. This leads to a total of 809 confirmed confirmed cases in France. An additional 88 deaths result in deaths of up to 33,125 people.
It comes as Paris and nine other French cities prepare for night curfew, beginning at midnight local time on Friday.
The curfew will be in effect from 9pm to 6am every night for at least four weeks.
A series of searches of the homes and offices of French Health Minister Olivier Veran, the director of the country’s national health agency, Jerome Salomon, and the homes of former government members, including former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, took place on Thursday.
The searches are part of a judicial investigation into the management of the coronavirus crisis in France, a spokesman for senior prosecutor Francois Moline told CNN. The investigation into the alleged “failure to fight the disaster” was opened following a series of formal complaints from non-profit groups and medical staff.
According to the prosecution, searches were also carried out in the homes or offices of former Health Minister Agnes Buzin and former government spokeswoman Sibet Ndiaye, who left the French government during a cabinet reshuffle in July.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson is also under pressure after the introduction of a three-tier Covid warning system in England, emphasizing localized measures, despite calls from the opposition to block the national regime for two weeks.
Leaders in Greater Manchester have spoken out against plans to rank the region in the “very high” category 3 of the highest category.
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said he and other northwestern regions “unanimously oppose government plans to block Level 3”.
He said the plans were “flawed and unfair” and that the government “wants us to stake the work, homes and businesses of our residents and much of our economy on a strategy that their own experts say may not work”.
The National Bureau of Statistics estimates that one in 240 people in England had the virus during the week of September 25 to October 1, and that the number of infected doubles every seven to 12 days, according to a press release from the United Nations kingdom. .
Records 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. Poland reported new cases, which rose to 8099 – a 24% increase on Thursday from a record 6526 cases on Wednesday. According to a CNN analysis in Belgium, the moving average increased from 3,433 new cases per day to 5,421 between October 4 and October 11.
The Czech Republic, which managed to effectively contain the virus at the start of the pandemic, broke its record for new infections for a second day on Friday with 9,721 cases in 24 hours. It now has a higher infection rate in a 14-day notification period than any other European Member State, reporting 610 cases per 100,000 people, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
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 registered 24 new deaths, resulting in a total of 9,734 since the start of the pandemic. The number of patients with coronavirus in intensive care is also increasing. Official data on Thursday showed 655 patients in intensive care units with 329 ventilated. A week earlier, only 487 were in intensive care.
Italy registered 8,804 new infections on Thursday – its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the health ministry.
Schools in Italy’s Campania region will be online in just two weeks from Friday, their governor announced on Thursday.
CNN’s Simon Cullen, Eva Tapiero, Martin Goylando, Pierre Byrin and Gael Fournier contributed.