EU Health Agency warns about the risks of ‘true resurgence’ of coronavirus

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) called on member states which are experiencing an increase in cases of coronavirus to reinstate control measures, while sounding the alarm of a “true resurgence” in several countries. 

In a “rapid risk assessment” published on Monday, the ECDC warned of a “risk of further escalation of Covid-19” across the continent.

The ECDC stated that as of 2 August 2020, ten countries had 14-day incidence of reported cases greater than 20 per 100 000 population. Among these, six countries (Belgium, Czechia, Luxembourg, Malta, Romania and Spain) reported an increase of 30% or more and two countries (Portugal and Sweden) reported a decrease of 30% or more compared to the 14-day incidence of reported cases as of 19 July.

Malta is among the countries with the highest rate of testing. Luxembourg has the highest testing rate for week 30, followed by Denmark, Malta, the UK, Cyprus, Austria, Ireland and Portugal. Countries with low testing rates and test positivity above 2% for week 30 were Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Spain, Czechia, Belgium, Poland and Slovenia.

The ECDCs warned that in countries where there is evidence that is suggestive of increasing transmission, as demonstrated by a recent increase in cases and no increase in hospitalisations but where there has been an increase in test positivity rates (if they have sufficient testing capacity and intensity of testing has remained stable), the risk of further escalation is high. For those countries, the risk is very high if they do not implement or reinforce multiple measures, including physical distancing and contact tracing.

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