Europe is at a “decisive moment” in dealing with its second wave of Covid-19 infections, and the buck falls on its citizens to prevent the deaths and economically ruinous lockdowns seen this spring, the European Union’s Health Commissioner warned yesterday.
A false sense of security has developed over the summer. Deaths are still well below April’s peak despite cases reaching record highs in recent days, Emma Reynolds writes.
But tragedy looms this winter, especially with flu season on its way. Infections will rise among older, more vulnerable populations, and experts are bracing for overwhelmed health systems and a high death toll.
Mass outbreaks are also occurring at European colleges, which reopened this month. Prince William’s alma mater, the University of St Andrews, is among the handful of Scottish universities asking students to self-isolate.
While the death toll is not expected to be as high as the first wave, officials like Kyriakides warn “the crisis is not behind us.”
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: When should countries ease lockdowns?
A: Countries should not ease lockdown restrictions until they meet five criteria — and many nations are not even close, according to a new study in The Lancet.
The research, published yesterday, said that the prerequisites for easing Covid-19 measures are:
- Knowledge of infection status
- Community engagement
- Adequate public health capacity
- Adequate health system capacity
- Border controls
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WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Europe’s worried about a second wave, but the US is still in the first, Fauci says
The US remains in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic since cases never declined significantly to a “good baseline,” according to America’s leading infectious disease expert.
The idea of a second wave is based on the pattern seen during the 1918 pandemic, when cases were seen in the spring and then cases “literally disappeared” before there was an “explosion” of cases in the fall, Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “Rather than say ‘a second wave,’ why don’t we say ‘are we prepared for the challenge of the fall and the winter?'”
Britain sees highest case count since the start of the pandemic
The United Kingdom has recorded 6,634 new cases in the past 24 hours — the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic, Public Health England tweeted on Thursday.
New restrictions aimed at controlling a second wave of coronavirus cases in England took effect the same day, including mandatory table service at pubs and a 10:00 p.m. closing time. Those may not sound like major changes, but for struggling pubs it could be the final nail in the coffin, Julia Horowitz writes.
More than 80% of cases in Africa could be asymptomatic
Confirmed cases and death rates remain low in many African countries, but early results in some communities suggest “that over 80% of cases in Africa are asymptomatic,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Africa.
There has been an uptick of cases since many countries began easing restrictions and opening economies back up. Yet experts are still unable to conclusively explain the region’s low death rates. Theories range from its youthful population to the potential cross-immunity that has developed from exposure to previous coronaviruses.
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- A key model now projects more than 371,000 US Covid-19 deaths by next year — 7,000 fewer than the previous prediction.
- Trump’s decision to withdraw from WHO will hurt the US, director-general says.
TODAY’S TOP TIP
Google Maps will soon show how prevalent coronavirus is in geographic areas with a new color-coded update. Jordan Valinksy explains how to use it once the feature becomes available this week on iOS and Android versions of the app
“200,000 deaths in the US is a reflection of a failing national response… These are lives that have been lost and jobs that have been lost because we haven’t had an organized, consistent, coherent federal response,” Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the CDC
In today’s podcast, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reflects on reaching a death toll the US should never have gotten to in the first place. Listen Now.