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Germany, Spain, Scotland see spikes as coronavirus surges across Europe

Germany, Spain, Scotland see spikes as coronavirus surges across Europe
© Greg Nash

German and Spanish officials say the nations have recorded the highest numbers of new coronavirus cases since April and Scotland has reported a three-month daily high in cases as Europe is hit by a resurgence of the virus.

Germany has recorded 1,707 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 228,261 cases. Spain, meanwhile, reported 3,715 new cases and 127 new deaths. Italy’s numbers, 642 new cases as of Wednesday, mark the highest daily increase since May. Italy was an early European epicenter of the virus after an outbreak began in the northern Lombardy region.

France, meanwhile, reported 3,776 new infections Wednesday, the third daily total above 3,000 in the past five days, according to CNBC.

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, announced that Scotland has recorded a three-month high in daily cases.

Several countries in Europe have reinstated travel restrictions and mask mandates as cases rise, although they still remain below those of the U.S.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has attributed the rise in large part to people “dropping their guard” as restrictions were relaxed. While the pandemic’s “epicenter” is in the Americas, Europe is “on a trajectory of its own, showing a different trend compared to the rest of the world,” Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the WHO, said Thursday.

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The 3.9 million people in the region who have contracted the virus comprise about 17 percent of the worldwide total.

“The risk of resurgence has never been far away. In the last two months, new cases have been steadily increasing every week in the region. There were 40,000 more cases in the first week of August, compared to the first week of June, when cases were at their lowest,” Kluge said during an online press briefing.

“Every day now the European region reports an average of over 26,000 new COVID-19 cases. This is due in part to the relaxation of public health and social measures, where authorities have been easing some of the restrictions and people have been dropping their guard,” he added, according to CNBC.