Visitors watch the dolphin show while using a bench as a safety distance at the Madrid Zoo Aquarium Park in Madrid, Spain on August 25, 2020.
Miguel Pereira | Getty Images News | Getty Images
In some European countries battling the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic as the rate of new infections every day begins to stabilize.
A report released on Thursday confirmed hopes the country could get its recent surge in coronavirus cases back on track. The UK’s Imperial College London released the latest results from an ongoing study on the prevalence of the virus, in which it said the reproductive number (or R) of the coronavirus “has fallen from 1.7 to 1.1 … but with a wide potential Value Range for the current value from 0.7 to 1.5. “
The R number indicates the number of secondary infections caused on average by one infected person. Scientists want to keep the R-number below 1 to help slow the spread of the disease.
“This suggests that the rate of new infections has decreased, but an R above 1 would mean that the cases will continue to increase if current trends continue,” Imperial scientists reported on the results of swab tests carried out between September and September September to more than 80,000 people. 18 and 26 as part of the “REACT 1” study.
The study tracks current cases of Covid-19 in the community by testing more than 150,000 randomly selected people each month over a two-week period. Volunteers take nasal and throat swabs at home, which are then analyzed in a laboratory.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT program at Imperial, said the results indicated that some of the measures put in place in the UK to contain the spread of the virus, including the “rule of six” to limit social gatherings, may have an impact.
“While our latest findings show some early evidence that the growth of new cases has slowed, suggesting efforts to control the infection are working, the prevalence of infection is the highest we’ve seen to date,” he said.
“This increases the need for protective measures to limit the spread of the disease and public compliance with these regulations.”
The UK has had some of the highest daily infections for the past week. 7,108 cases were reported on Wednesday, after 7,143 new cases on Tuesday, this was the highest daily increase in infections recorded so far.
In addition to the UK, other European countries have tightened coronavirus measures to curb the spread of the virus. These include reintroducing local lockdowns in some regions and cities, as well as limiting the number of people who can socially gather around the opening times of pubs, bars and restaurants.
Germany and Spain announced stricter regional measures this week to contain the spikes in coronavirus cases, especially in urban areas. Outbreaks can be traced back to family gatherings.
In the major European countries that have peaked, there may also be signs that the daily number of infections, while still high, is starting to stabilize and decrease for the time being in some cases – but not in all.
In Spain, the daily number of infections remains high and is around 10,000 this week, with around 11,000 registered on Wednesday. However, there is a temporary decrease in new cases. Spanish Ministry of Health Data suggests a decline.
Over 70,000 new cases were reported between September 14 and 20, while just over 53,000 new cases were recorded in the following week’s data. Nevertheless, the government is not taking any chances with the virus hotspot Madrid and decided on Wednesday to lock down the capital as the infections there remain high. They account for over a third of the daily new infections across the country, according to regional data. According to the Johns Hopkins University, Spain has the highest number of cases in Europe with 769,188.
In France, with the second highest number of coronavirus cases (with 604,031 cases, according to the JHU), the situation is not that good. Over 12,000 new cases were reported by the Department of Health on Wednesday, with the 10,000 new case spike for the first time in three days and hospital admissions climbing 90 to a Reuters 10-week high of 6,590.
Italy and Germany are the main economies in Europe that have not seen as dramatic increases as elsewhere, although both have seen acute outbreaks in certain regions.
Germany reported 1,798 new cases on Wednesday, after 2,089 new infections the previous day, according to the Robert Koch Institute. However, the public health authority warned that the four-day R-value (a four-day moving average of the number of new cases) “has been mostly greater than 1” since the second week of September, despite being 0.96 on Wednesday.
In Italy, the number of new infections every day does not seem to be increasing too dramatically. Although the Ministry of Health reported 1,851 new cases on Wednesday, just over 200 more than the previous day, the Italian news agency Ansa found that the Ministry of Health had carried out 15,000 more coronavirus tests than the previous day, and this could explain the increase.
Ansa characterized the infection curve as “stable” and found that no new infections occurred in any region. “Campania led again with 287 new cases”, followed by Lazio, where Rome is located and registered 210 new cases. And in Lombardy, where Italy’s original outbreak occurred, another 201 cases the day before.