Comparison of figures for France, Germany and the UK

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The largest economies in Western Europe have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and have had mixed success in dealing with it. Spain currently has the most cases, while the UK has the most deaths, but has also performed the most tests by population.Over the past two weeks, the trend in the number of Covid-19 cases has increased in four of those five countries, with Italy being the exception.

Pays Sum of cases

Sum of deaths

Cumulative number of COVID-19 cases over 14 days per 100,000

Cumulative 14 days of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000

Spain

326612

28581

98,0

0,3

United Kingdom

312789

46526

18,2

1.0

Italy

251237

35215

7,9

0,2

Germany

218519

9207

14,0

0,1

France

204172

30354

30,4

0,2

Statistics from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, 12 August 2020

Trial

Regarding tests, France has considerably increased the number of tests it performs since the start of the deconfinement process at the end of June, from around 200,000 tests per week to more than 500,000 today. Despite this, of these five countries, France has tested the least, according to Statista data as of August 13, 2020.

Pays

Rate of coronavirus tests per million inhabitants

United Kingdom

277 774

Spain

159 806

Italy

121910

Germany

102 447

France

84 239

Measures to combat the virus

Measures to combat the virus varied between the five countries. UK, Italy and Spain require anyone travel around the country to fill out forms so that they can be contacted if necessary. The UK also imposed the last minute quarantine measures for people coming from certain countries. In France, rules on wearing masks outdoors are becoming more common, while in Germany and the UK some areas have been subject to local lockdowns, a measure France has not taken yet.

According to the online scientific publication OurWorldInData, the UK has been the toughest in imposing measures, while France has been the most lenient.

Data from OurWorldInData

The publication used nine metrics to calculate its government stringency index, which corresponds to school closures; closures of workplaces; cancellation of public events; restrictions on public gatherings; public transport closures; home stay requirements; public information campaigns; restrictions on internal movement; and international travel controls.

100 is the strictest and 0 is the least strict. As of August 13, the UK had a score of 68.06, Spain 64.35, Germany 56.94, Italy 48.15 and France 31.48.

“It is important to note that this index simply records the stringency of government policies. It does not measure or imply the relevance or effectiveness of a country’s response. A higher score does not necessarily mean that a country’s response is “better” than the others lower in the index, “the publication notes.

Applications

Germany rolled out an app in June that was reasonably well received with around 16 million downloads.

According to the president of the Robert Koch Institute, a German government agency responsible for disease control and prevention, “the app works”. He told the BBC that 500 users of the app had tested positive for the virus and warned other users of the app.

However, he also added that he could not say “exactly how many people have been notified, due to the decentralized approach of the application”. Italy has also had an app available since June, but on July 23, the Italian government announced that the app, named Immuni, had only been downloaded by 12% of Italians between the ages of 14 and 75.

In the UK, a second attempt is underway to develop an app after a failed first effort. Public testing of this new version is expected to begin in England today (August 13). Spain is also preparing to roll out an app in September.

France also has a coronavirus tracing app called Stop-Covid, which it launched in June. It has had around 2 million downloads, although many people have since deleted it. The app has been controversial, and has been the subject of several lively debates in the National Assembly and the French Senate, before it was finally approved. The French government decided not to use a standard established by Apple and Google and opted for a “centralized model”. This approach is supposed to give health authorities better access to data collected by the app, but has also raised privacy concerns.

Find out more about the coronavirus in France:

France-UK quarantine fears increase with Covid cases

Travel to France: which countries have restrictions in place?

French cities advised to prepare for a local reconfiguration

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