Both Spain and Italy reported new highs of daily recorded coronavirus cases Wednesday after ending their strict lockdowns months ago, as more and more viral cases are detected throughout Europe in a worrying trend.
- On Wednesday, Spain’s health ministry said 3,715 new daily cases had been detected, the highest tally in a a single day since the Spain emerged in June from its lockdown, according to Reuters.
- Health officials insist Spain is not seeing levels that would indicate a second wave, and that the steep uptick in numbers can also be chalked up to ramped-up testing.
- Italy also broke a record for the most daily cases since it lifted its lockdown in May, according to The Guardian, with an increase of 642 confirmed coronavirus cases.
- Italy on Sunday ordered nightclubs to close for several weeks as the country, a one-time epicenter of the pandemic, began to see rising numbers of new cases.
- “Italy is at a crossroads right now. If we do not apply containment measures and the numbers continue to rise, localized lockdowns will be required,” health ministry advisor Walter Ricciardi told The Guardian.
- Last week, Spain also put nightlife on hold in an attempt to keep rising cases at bay.
Many of Europe’s new infections have been detected in young people, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, has warned, telling Today, a BBC Radio 4 show in July that young people “have a responsibility towards themselves, their parents, grandparents and their communities” to continue social distancing. Similar trends have been reported in U.S. cities as well, like Los Angeles and New York.
Spain and Italy both had months-long lockdowns that were far more harsh than anything seen in the U.S. Under Italy’s lockdown, which was ordered in March, Italians were barred from traveling either within or outside of the country for unnecessary reasons most businesses were eventually ordered to close if deemed nonessential, like restaurants and many retail stores. In Spain, residents were largely confined to their homes except for necessary trips, like to the grocery store or for medical care, and restaurants were closed even for delivery and takeout.