When the pandemic began to spread from its epicentre in Wuhan, it first made its way into Europe, infecting millions within a span of several months. Governments moved swiftly to impose lockdown restrictions, which in some countries were so stringent that no one was allowed to even walk down a street without authorization. Indeed, infection rates eventually began to taper off, leaving a trail of fatalities, exhausted healthcare systems, and devastated economies.
In the meantime, while Europe grappled with initiating some form of recovery as the daily number of cases began to subside, the remainder of the world, predominantly the US, began to experience an exponential rise in cases that alarmingly stretched well into the summer months. However, it now turns out that what seemed like a grace period for Europe is no more. According to latest data released by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control on Friday, there have been over 100,000 new COVID-19 cases reported within a 24-hour period – the highest daily rise since the onset of the pandemic.
It appears that the second wave of the virus seems to be hitting Europe significantly worse compared to the pandemic’s peak back in March and April. Several European countries have surpassed their grim daily number of case records, and as a result are struggling to create a balance between keeping their economies open while mitigating the rapid spread of the the second wave.
In fact, the UK set a startling new record on Thursday, with more than 17,000 new cases being reported in a single day. In addition, the country’s case-to-fatality rate rose to a disturbing 7% – the highest rate in the world. In the meantime, France witnessed a staggering 34,000 new cases recorded on Monday, which in turn prompted the country’s government to close down restaurants and bars once again, and reinstate the emergency mode for hospitals. Spain also reported a record-high increase in daily cases, which surpassed 30,000 at the end of September, forcing the government to declare a state of emergency in Madrid.
Nonetheless, Europe currently accounts for approximately 16% of the world’s coronavirus case count, and one fifth of COVID-19-related deaths. However, the US, Brazil, and India continue to be the top three countries most affected by the pandemic.
Information for this briefing was found via Johns Hopkins University and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.