The figure is still far from the peak of more than 6,000 daily cases recorded in early April, but Health Minister Jens Spahn said the accelerating pace was a cause for concern and if authorities could cope, the trajectory was worrying.
“We don’t live in normal times,” Spahn said. “The pandemic is still here – it will continue to be there.” Many Germans have been lulled into “a deceptive feeling that it’s not that bad”, he said, and relaxed their behavior accordingly. People “were infected at family celebrations, in their workplaces or in community facilities.”
From Saturday, travelers returning to Germany from high-risk regions – currently most countries outside of Europe, as well as Luxembourg and northern Spain – will have to undergo mandatory coronavirus testing unless ‘they cannot show a recent negative result.
If the infection rate continued to rise, Spahn said, schools and stores would have to remain open, but tighter restrictions were likely on the size and type of gatherings allowed. “Freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility,” he said.
In Spain, The northern region of Castilla y León has ordered a town of 32,000 inhabitants, Aranda de Duero, to return to detention for two weeks after the detection of 230 cases of the virus, days after two small towns in the same region were returned locked out following epidemics.
The regional government of Pays Basque, meanwhile, said there was no longer any doubt that he was facing a second wave of the epidemic.
Speaking on Thursday after 338 new cases were diagnosed in the region, Health Minister Nekane Murga warned people not to underestimate the virus.
“There is no reason to think the virus is weaker or less deadly now,” she says. “It has the same ability to spread and infect people as it did in March. It infects more people daily and can kill.
Spain has registered 35.4o7 new cases in the past two weeks. On Thursday, the health ministry said the total number of cases had risen to 309,855. The latest tally included 4,088 new cases, with 1,683 diagnosed in the past 24 hours.
In France, meanwhile, experts said that with many staff on vacation, an already disorganized testing regime was struggling.
“The virus has not disappeared at all … The contamination continues and is growing in some regions,” François Blanchecotte, president of the Union of Medical Biologists, told the Associated Press. “We have to adapt the testing strategy.”
On Wednesday, the country reported its biggest increase in daily confirmed cases since May 30, with 1,695 positive diagnoses.
Blanchecotte said testing should be held at resorts or tourist sites rather than laboratories, and criticized a government campaign to test 1.5 million Parisians as dozens of facilities close for the holidays.
The government now says it can test up to 700,000 people per week and hit a record 581,000 tests in the past week, but the number of new positive cases is growing twice as fast as the growth in testing rates, said the national health agency. .
The strategic director of FinlandHealth Ministry Health Ministry Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki on Thursday said the virus was accelerating, the R-number, or reproduction rate, rising to between 1.1 and 1.4, and measures Localized lockdowns, plus a recommendation to wear face masks, are expected to be announced in an “fall roadmap” next week.
Most of the spring lockdown restrictions have been lifted in Finland, which has so far reported 7,512 infections and 331 deaths from Covid-19. Large indoor and outdoor gatherings are allowed, restaurants and bars are open as usual, and children are due to return to class next week after summer break.
“The situation is extremely delicate,” Voipio-Pulkki said. “A sort of second stage has started. Whether we can expect a smaller wave or a larger wave depends on how we react. ”
Poland said on Thursday it would re-impose mandatory face masks in all public spaces in nine areas, with the number of infections also reaching a new high. The restrictions, also affecting sporting and cultural events in these regions, mainly in the south and east, will come into effect from Saturday. Face masks are currently mandatory in Poland in enclosed spaces such as shops and public transport, but not outdoors.
“We need to wake up a bit,” said Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski, adding that the country as a whole should be vigilant. The ministry reported 726 new cases on Thursday, the highest daily number on record.
Outside of Europe, the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 10 countries accounted for 80% of coronavirus tests in Africa, indicating that in many countries on the continent, few tests were underway.
Confirmed cases of Covid-19 across Africa have accelerated to close to one million this week, and experts say low levels of testing in many countries mean infection rates are likely higher than those reported.