The continent now accounts for 46% of global coronavirus cases.
Europe is currently battling a second influx of COVID-1
In France, more than half of intensive care beds are occupied by patients with COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
While European countries are testing citizens for a virus at a faster rate than in the first wave, there are other trends in the spring that may explain why the virus has returned in revenge.
Studies from King’s College London and Imperial College London show that antibodies that protect humans against COVID-19 have a limited presence in the body after infection, a theory that argues in favor of herd immunity.
Many European countries are global tourist destinations, and in the summer, after several months of near-universal locking across borders, governments have released travel restrictions. This allowed families and tourists to travel – both in the country and in nearby countries – after spending several months at home.
But young people in Europe have been blamed for spreading the virus as nations have eased lock-in measures. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control reports that the average age of infected people has dropped from 54 between January and May, to 39 in June and July.
New concerns were raised in September, as schools and universities accounted for almost a third of the new cases of coronavirus on the continent, according to Public Health France.
But now, in late October, the virus is also spreading rapidly among the elderly. The number of infections among people over the age of 65 is now six times higher than in September and there are five times more hospitalizations, according to Public Health France.
Fearing both the economic cost of national blockades and the political reaction of citizens, who are increasingly tired of their livelihood restrictions, government officials across Europe are reluctant to close their businesses to the extent they did in the spring. .
Italy, initially the worst-hit country in Europe, now registers about 20,000 cases a day, with no deaths since May. A series of violent protests – aimed at conveying people’s objections to the government’s potential tightening of restrictions – erupted across the country over the weekend.
New measures located around the continent include closing bars and restaurants after 6pm and closing all gyms, swimming pools, cinemas and theaters.
As the second influx of COVID-19 cases is gaining momentum, there are growing concerns about the pressures that European hospitals will face – as the virus’s resurgence came at the same time as the annual flu season.
Health magazine The Lancet said last week that countries were generally “much better prepared” now than when COVID-19 first appeared.
“But October also marks the beginning of the flu season in the northern hemisphere,” the report said. “If both viruses rise at the same time, even the best-secured health systems would be difficult to deal with.”
Still, the silver lining seems to be that the death rate in Europe is not as high as it was during the first wave of the pandemic. Earlier this month, Hans Kluge of the World Health Organization said that while the situation in Europe was a matter of “great concern”, the incidence rate had a less dramatic curve than earlier in the spring.
But a seasonal crisis can be set.
The Lancet warned that while blocking and social alienation measures would invariably affect the rate of influenza and coronavirus transmission, countries such as the United Kingdom, where the National Health Service fears being on the verge of a turning point, COVID-19 cases could lead to record peak in winter.