Europe’s recent rise in coronavirus cases has taken experts by surprise

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 11:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 11:37 am
Coronavirus case numbers have begun to rise again, as countries throughout Europe relax lockdown restrictions and international travel steps up (Photo: Shutterstock)

Coronavirus case numbers have begun to rise again, as countries throughout Europe relax lockdown restrictions and international travel steps up.

Some experts say they are surprised at how quickly the rate of infection has recently increased, reports the Financial Times.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rise in coronavirus cases

Spain is seeing a rise in cases of Covid-19, with the UK government recently taking the decision to remove the country from the travel corridor list, as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) changed its travel advice to “all but essential travel” to the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also warned this week of an potential “second wave” of the virus in Europe.

Germany has also now ordered mandatory testing for travellers from high risk areas, as the country is also seeing a rise in infections, with nearly 4,000 cases diagnosed in the past week.

Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Span, said, “What I find alarming is that we’re increasingly seeing outbreaks within families, among groups of friends, and that seems to be connected to people returning from high-risk areas."

Lifting of restrictions to blame

The easing of restrictions over the past couple of months has happened in different stages in Europe, with more people now travelling abroad for summer holidays and eating out at restaurants.

Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist explains that the recent rise of infections could be linked to the relaxation of lockdown rules.

Mr Tegnell said the rate of infections could be “quite strongly linked to the relaxation of lockdowns.”

Speed of rise in infections taken experts by surprise

The recent rise in infections has taken some experts by surprise in relation to how quickly it has happened.

Arnold S Monto, a physician and epidemiologist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, explains how he thought summer would see a “lull” in coronavirus cases.

“I thought we would see a lull during the summer. I thought it would behave more like the flu than it has and I didn’t think we’d see these upsurges,” he admitted.