Europe has reached a fork in the road when it comes to COVID-19. Countries that have implemented harsh restrictions are seeing infection rates fall while others are reporting record daily totals.
On Thursday, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, and the UK announced their highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began. But this corresponds with more COVID-19 tests being carried out now compared to the first wave.
Southern Italy has been hit harder by the country’s second wave of COVID-19.
A video showing a suspected COVID-19 patient lying dead on the floor of a bathroom in a packed Naples emergency room sparked outrage across the country.
The country passed one million total cases of coronavirus on Wednesday.
In other countries, the story is more reassuring
Germany is seeing a drop in its reinfection rate. For every 100 infected people, the virus will be passed on to just 89, a sign that transmission could be slowing.
The head of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s centre for disease control, said the country’s curve is “flattening”.
The institute’s head, Lothar Wieler, said he is “”cautiously optimistic” because “”the curve is rising somewhat less steeply.” But he said ““we don’t yet know whether this is a stable development“” and it’s too early to assess what effect the new restrictions are having.
Ireland is on track to end its lockdown on December 1st. The government says the average number of weekly cases is a quarter of what it was a few weeks ago and that it’s confident some restrictions will be dropped at the start of next month.
France is expected to hit the peak of its second wave early next week. Prime Minister Jean Castex says some restrictions could be lifted at the start of December but warned it’ll be limited to businesses, forced to close during the second lockdown.
“We believe that the peak of the second wave could be reached in our hospitals early next week. This means that from next week onwards the number of Covid patients in intensive care could, hopefully, start to decrease.”