France has stumbled over a menacing new hurdle in their battle to beat coronavirus as the country counted upwards of 13,000 new coronavirus cases Friday, an all-time daily high including even before the French lockdown in spring, as other countries like the U.K., Israel and Spain grapple to regain control of the virus’ spread.
- The 13,215 confirmed cases and 154 deaths recorded in France Friday marked record-breaking figures in terms of new daily cases, along with a four-month peak for deaths in one day, Reuters reported—despite these worrying figures, the government reportedly is not keen on another nationwide lockdown.
- Many residents of Israel at this time of year would usually be gathering to celebrate the High Holidays, the holiest days on the Jewish calendar—instead, the country entered a second lockdown on Friday that will last at least three weeks in a bid to slow down new infections, of which Israel is reporting about 5,000 each day.
- In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Great Britain is “seeing a second wave” of the pandemic as 4,322 new cases were counted Friday, adding that it’s likely stricter social distancing measures will be put in place, though he said a second national lockdown “is the last thing anybody wants.”
- While Spain’s 4,697 new daily cases reported Friday is a drop from 24-hour totals counted over the past few weeks, it’s still a jump from the low, several-hundred figures reported throughout June after the country’s lockdown as some areas, like parts of Madrid, come under new, partial lockdowns to slow the virus.
According to an analysis by the Washington Post, Spain, France and Israel all have higher infection rates than even the United States, which has by far the most confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.
While Europe and Israel were lauded worldwide for imposing strict lockdowns relatively early on during the pandemic and seeing steep declines in new coronavirus cases and deaths, many of the countries once regarded as success stories are seeing new surges after reopening. Europe’s jump in cases has been blamed on young people congregating and partying, hoping to enjoy the last part of summer. However, experts have noted that increased testing capacity has likely contributed to the higher numbers recorded more recently, and that healthcare systems are generally in a better position to handle coronavirus patients than they were in spring.