France said Covid-19 hospitalizations were on the rise and Spain had reported the most cases since April, signaling another worrying turning point in the European pandemic.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said France is witnessing a “marked deterioration” as the virus spreads mainly among young people, which inevitably leads to more cases among the most vulnerable. France remains determined to avoid another national lockdown in the eurozone’s second-largest economy, so people will have to live with the virus and observe precautions, he said.
“The percentage of positive cases will continue to increase. Castex said Thursday in a speech in Paris. “For the first time in many weeks, we are seeing a significant increase in hospitalizations.”
Western Europe topped the United States in terms of new daily infections this week, reappearing as a global hotspot after governments pressed by historic economic crises lifted severe lockdowns and Europeans traveled by million during the summer vacation season.
In an effort to gain compliance from a virus-weary public, France will reduce the self-quarantine period for anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 to seven days from 14, Castex said.
In the UK, the coronavirus isis spreading rapidly for the first time since March, due to a sharp increase in cases among young people. Government figures have shown the so-called reproduction rate to be above 1 again, indicating that infections are on the rise.
“We have seen around the world how an increase in cases, initially among young people, is leading to hospitalizations and deaths,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock. “The pandemic is not over.”
Spain, which has the most confirmed cases in Europe, has reported 4,708 new infections in the last 24-hour period, the most since mid-April. With older cases included in the latest tally, cumulative infections rose to 566,326, according to government data. 241 other patients died last week.
While the government in Madrid this week suggested the outbreak level off, officials are increasingly concerned about the high number of children returning to school.
Spread « exponentiel »
Germany recorded 1,716 new infections on Friday, according todata from Johns Hopkins University. This was close to the nearly 1,900 increase recorded on Tuesday, the largest since mid-April.
Many new infections have been linked to holidaymakers bringing home the virus, as well as young people socializing without respecting the rules of distance and hygiene. While the death rate remains relatively low, the resumption of cases has alarmed policymakers just as students are returning to school and companies are trying to bring back workers who have been working from home.
Like other European governments, France has resisted the relaunch of a nationwide lockout, which weakened the economy in the second quarter. While activity has returned to about 95% of its pre-crisis level in August, progress will effectively stagnate now, the national statistical agency Insee said this week.
Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government of President Emmanuel Macron, said on Friday that people must again “take back control” of their behavior after perhaps not following the rules on viruses too strictly as necessary during the summer.
“The virus is spreading strongly in certain regions, it is not linear but exponential”, declared Friday Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council which advises the government, in an interview with the radio Europe 1. “The solution is about physical distancing, it’s about testing people, so we all need to be able to take control. ”
– With the help of Angelina Rascouet