Covid-19 situation across Europe

England banned gatherings of more than six people as of Sept 14, 2020.
England banned gatherings of more than six people as of Sept 14, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

COPENHAGEN • The World Health Organisation (WHO) expects Europe to see a rise in the daily number of Covid-19 deaths in the next two months, the head of the body's European branch told Agence France-Presse yesterday.

"It is going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality," WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said, as the continent currently experiences a surge of cases though the number of deaths has remained relatively stable.

The resurgence is, however, expected to lead to an increase in daily deaths, the WHO said.

Its comment comes as the number of cases across Europe has risen sharply in recent weeks. More than 51,000 new cases were reported last Friday alone in the 55 countries monitored by WHO Europe, which is more than the highest peak in April, according to the organisation.

Here is the situation in some European countries.

UNITED KINGDOM

After a spate of local lockdowns this month, England banned gatherings of more than six people from yesterday to stem the rise of the coronavirus.

The move comes after a government-backed surveillance project found that the infection rate is rising across all age groups, apart from those over 65, and cases are no longer clustering in hospitals or care homes as they were a few months ago.

Researchers at Imperial College London calculated that the reproduction, or "R", number of Covid-19 infections in England, which measures how many people an infected person will pass the disease to, is at 1.7, indicating that the epidemic is growing.

"I think one would have to say that we are on the edge of losing control," Dr Mark Walport, the British government's former chief scientific adviser, told BBC radio.

 
 

AUSTRIA

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz warned on Sunday that the country is experiencing "the beginning of the second wave" as new daily infections climbed towards 1,000 cases.

"We are going to see 1,000 infections soon. Fall and winter will be hard on everybody."

This comes as the Alpine nation of nearly nine million people reported 869 new cases - more than half of those in the capital Vienna - from last Friday to Saturday.

Mr Kurz said the government would further restrict events and extend the areas where mask-wearing is mandatory to include all shops and public buildings.

FRANCE

France reported 10,561 new coronavirus cases last Saturday, its highest daily number since wide-scale testing began in the country. Over the 24-hour period, 17 people died in hospital, bringing the country's total fatalities to 30,910.

French leaders and health officials have warned repeatedly that the virus is raging, mainly among young people, but the country did not impose any major new restrictions.

CZECH REPUBLIC

The country reported its biggest one-day increase in new coronavirus infections for a third straight day on Sunday, recording 1,541 cases as the country battles a Covid-19 surge in recent weeks. It was the fifth day in a row with new infections above 1,000 for the country of 10.7 million after cases began to accelerate last month.

The spike prompted epidemiologist Roman Prymula, the government's commissioner for science and research in healthcare, to warn that a second wave had started and hospitalisations would soon rise.

 
 

SPAIN

Last week, Spain became the first western European nation to record more than 500,000 cases since the beginning of the outbreak. Recent infections have been more common among younger people who often develop no symptoms thanks to their stronger immune systems.

Spain has seen a surge in infections since a strict three-month national lockdown was lifted at the end of June, with Madrid facing the brunt of this so-called second wave of infections.

To curb infections, the authorities have imposed fresh restrictions, ordering the closure of nightclubs and cocktail bars last month and making the use of face masks mandatory in public.

PORTUGAL

Portugal reported 673 cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 63,983, the government said. The country has had more than 600 daily new confirmed coronavirus cases in three of the last five days, remaining at a level last recorded in April. The number of cases in intensive care units fell.

The government announced last week that from today, the limit on gatherings in Portugal will be tightened to 10 people from 20, aligning other regions with a rule that is already in place for Lisbon.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2020, with the headline 'Situation across Europe'. Print Edition | Subscribe