Pandemic Second Wave? – EU Countries Are Experiencing Resurgence of Cases

Written by | Saturday, August 29th, 2020

Europe is experiencing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases after successfully controlling outbreaks early in the year. Dr Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) top official in Europe, warned on Thursday (27 August) that coronavirus is a “tornado with a long tail” and said rising case counts among young people could ultimately spread to more vulnerable older people — and cause an uptick in deaths. Kluge insisted “no one is invincible” but stressed that most coronavirus deaths are among the elderly. “It may be that younger people indeed are not necessarily going to die from it, but it’s a tornado with a long tail and it’s a multi-organ disease,” he said.
Countries in southern-eastern Europe — such as Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia — are seeing higher case numbers this month than they did in April. Serbia is one of the exceptions, posting similar figures now to mid-April. Greece, Croatia and Malta are possibly seeing a surge in cases with even higher numbers this past week compared to the first wave. The UK, Italy and Belgium — among Europe’s worst-hit countries — are seeing a resurgence but, so far at least, nothing like earlier this year. Spain, France, Poland and the Netherlands are possibly dealing with the much-feared second wave and have started taking action to curb it. France has also declared 5,429 new cases earlier this week, the highest number since 14 April.
In response to this deterioriating situation, countries across Europe have tightened COVID-19 restrictions in recent days. While Paris has introducted the mask-wearing order across the capital city starting this Friday (28 August), in Spain, children as young as six will be required to wear face coverings when the country’s schools reopen next month where a distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained and on school transport. Germany has called on its citizens to stop travelling to countries and regions considered to be high risk, while a ban on major events has been extended to the end of the year. Most states in the country have also implemented a uniform fine of €50 for failing to wear face masks in areas where they’re required. In the UK, secondary school pupils will have to wear face coverings in school corridors in areas where there is a local lockdown, after a government U-turn on guidance.

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