Europe Coronavirus Cases Are Rising Fastest in These Countries

There are fears over a second wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Europe, with total cases in the region approaching nearly 2.9 million. That's according to the latest report Tuesday from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Spain, Belgium and The Netherlands have had the largest recent growths in new cases, with each reporting a spike between 130 and 600 percent over the past month, according to the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The data is based on the percentage change in total new infections per 100,000 people over the 14 days up to July 28, from that reported 14 days prior.

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Here we take a closer look at the five EU countries where cases are rising the fastest. Case data below is from the latest report Tuesday by WHO, unless otherwise stated.

Spain

  • Population: Nearly 46.8 million
  • New cases in past 14 days since July 28: 21,885
  • Increase in new cases over 14 days prior: 161 percent
  • Total confirmed cases: 278,782

Spain has seen the largest number of new infections in the EU and the second-largest number in all of Europe, after Russia, over the past 14 days. It has the third-highest number of total confirmed infections in Europe, after Russia (818,120 total cases) and the U.K. (300,111 total cases), according to the latest report Tuesday from the ECDC.

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The daily case count in Spain began increasing on a sharper incline from early July, about a couple of weeks after it reopened its borders in late June and ended its state of emergency.

Nightclubs have been closed in Catalonia, where most of the recent new cases were reported, while restrictions were also issued in other parts of the country. Mask rules were imposed in several regions requiring face coverings to be worn in public.

On Saturday, Spain was removed from a "safe travel" list in the U.K., which issued a 14-day quarantine mandate for all those traveling from Spain.

Belgium

  • Population: Nearly 11.6 million
  • New cases in past 14 days since July 28: 3,330
  • Increase in new cases over 14 days prior: 132 percent
  • Total confirmed cases: 66,335

The daily case count in Belgium has been mostly rising from early July. The country reported 2,404 total new cases in the past week, which marks a nearly 63 percent increase from the 1,477 reported in the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Restrictions were reintroduced in the country in recent days in a bid to curb the spread of infection. From Wednesday, residents living together will only be allowed to meet five other people over the next four weeks, marking a large decrease from the previous 15-person limit, Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes confirmed at a news conference earlier this week.

The capacity for public events was also halved to 100 for indoor events and 200 for outdoor ones. Consumers will need to do their shopping individually, as opposed to in groups, while residents are urged to work from home as much as possible.

The country paused all further reopenings last week, with mask mandates issued for customers who aren't seated at bars and restaurants. Patrons are also required to leave their contact details for contact tracing.

The Netherlands

  • Population: Nearly 17.2 million
  • New cases in past 14 days since July 28: 2,058
  • Increase in new cases over 14 days prior: 137 percent
  • Total confirmed cases: 53,151

New cases in The Netherlands have also been rising from early July. In the past week, the country reported 1,340 total new cases, a nearly 42 percent rise from the 945 total new cases reported a week earlier, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The increase in newly reported cases could also be a result of increased testing in recent weeks, local authorities noted. The number of tests conducted has doubled since the start of June and rose sharply in the past two weeks.

"We got the virus under control together and we will have to keep it under control together," Hugo de Jonge, the Dutch minister of health and deputy prime minister, said at a Tuesday briefing with members of Dutch parliament.

"There are a surprising number of positive tests among people aged 20 to 40, a group which has mild symptoms. This is not a group which is likely to end up in hospital...but the risk of them not getting a test or keeping to the rules is that they may infect others who are more vulnerable.'

He noted that "in places where the situation is more complicated, people are ready to scale up capacity and deliver regional, tailor-made approaches."

Antwerp, Belgium, July 2020
People wearing face masks in the city center of Antwerp in Belgium on July 22, 2020. Getty Images

Lithuania

  • Population: Nearly 2.8 million
  • New cases in past 14 days since July 28: 145
  • Increase in new cases over 14 days prior: 150 percent
  • Total confirmed cases: 2,019

The daily case count in Lithuania has been mostly increasing from July, peaking at 26 on July 24. That's the largest single-day spike since May 10, when 35 new cases were reported, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Total new cases reported in the country over the past week (78 new cases) rose only by four since the previous week, when 74 new cases were reported from July 15 to 21, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The state of emergency in all three Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) has ended but certain restrictions remain in place, such as required social distancing practices and the use of hand sanitizer.

Malta

  • Population: Nearly 442,000
  • New cases in past 14 days since July 28: 27
  • Increase in new cases over 14 days prior: 575 percent
  • Total confirmed cases: 701

While Malta reported the largest percentage growth in new infections over roughly the past month, the country saw the fewest number of new cases over the past two weeks among the five nations where new infections are rising the fastest.

The country's daily case count has been mostly increasing from around July 18, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Over 16.7 million people across the globe have been infected since the virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, including over 4.3 million in the U.S. More than 9.7 million globally have reportedly recovered from infection, while over 660,700 have died, as of Wednesday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates U.S. states with more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the past week.

Coronavirus Red Zone States
States with more than 100 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people as of July 24. Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

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