The number of new COVID-19 cases confirmed daily across Spain has increased at an alarming rate. A total of 3,169 new cases were recorded on Thursday, bringing the total in the country to 329,784. In June, Spain had an average of just 150 new cases per day.
Spain’s health ministry has also pointed out that tobacco use makes smokers more vulnerable to serious respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. “Current evidence indicates that smoking is associated with… a higher risk of developing a severe form of symptoms,” he says.
The surge in new cases since Spain lifted its lockdown on June 21 prompted the UK to remove the country from its list of safe countries to travel at the end of last month.
La France suit 331 clusters COVID
Britain also removed France from this list of travel corridors on Thursday, citing a sharp increase in the number of new cases in that country. This means that all travelers from France to the UK – including Britons returning from vacation – must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. France has threatened to impose a reciprocal quarantine on travelers from the UK, which has a much higher national infection rate than France.
Paris and the Bouches-du-Rhône region, around Marseille in the south of France, have been declared high-risk areas where the coronavirus is actively circulating. In Paris, the incidence rate – the number of cases per 100,000 people – doubled last week to 46.2, well above the national average of 17 (excluding cases arriving from abroad).
Local authorities have been given the power to introduce tough new measures to try to contain the virus, which could include closing bars and restaurants or limiting numbers in public places.
Several cities, including Paris, have already introduced new rules this week ordering people to wear masks outside on busy streets.
France’s health chief Jérôme Salomon said on Friday that Paris and the Bouches-du-Rhône remained at high risk. Both are densely populated urban areas, with a high population of young people.
In France, as elsewhere in the world, the number of new cases in their twenties has increased considerably. This has been attributed to young people moving and mixing more since the locks were lifted, and demographics, including a higher percentage of asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
The French government, health officials and the World Health Organization (WHO) have all called on young adults to be more vigilant, reminding them that they could unintentionally pass COVID-19 to vulnerable family members, especially during the summer season when there is more. family and social gatherings, and more vacation travel.
French citizens were encouraged to spend vacations in their own country, but this may have contributed to the creation of new hubs in traditional vacation spots such as the Côte d’Azur and Normandy.
The country is currently investigating 331 coronavirus clusters, including 30 new ones that have emerged in recent days. Half of all current clusters in France have been attributed to business contacts, which has led to growing calls to make masks mandatory in most workplaces from early September, when people traditionally return to work after their summer vacation.