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COMPARE: Nine charts to show how European countries are doing in the battle against the rise of Covid-19


In December, America once again surpassed Europe as the region of the world most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, after tighter restrictions introduced in November and December curbed the virus.

Health officials have recorded about 30 million cases in Europe, compared to about 40 million cases in the Americas, according to the World Health Organization. Covid-19 Dashboard.

These graphics of Our world in data January 13 shed some light on which countries in Europe have been the hardest hit during the second wave of the virus and which have managed to control the pandemic more successfully.

1. New daily confirmed cases

The graph below shows a seven-day rolling average for new Covid-19 infections.

The obvious change over the past month has been the rise in new confirmed cases daily in the UK. If this is due to the new, more contagious B.1.1.7 variant, then other European countries are at risk of experiencing a similar increase.

Germany, which was one of the world’s success stories in the first wave, saw its cases rise rapidly in October, reaching a plateau before rising again in early December.

However, Germany’s second wave has still been much more subdued than those of France, Spain and Italy, where the number of new cases rose sharply in October and November, before falling again in November and most of December.

Sweden’s second wave started late, and only accelerated towards the end of October, but the daily number of new cases rose steadily until just before Christmas.

Denmark saw an increase in infections throughout October with increasingly stringent restrictions to match.

Norway has largely managed to keep numbers low during the pandemic

Spain, France, Italy and Germany have seen the number of new cases rise rapidly since January 10, suggesting there was a greater spread during the Christmas period.

But when the infection rate is compared to the population size, the graph looks slightly different.

Apart from Ireland and the United Kingdom, Sweden and Spain have the highest infection rates in Europe per million people during the last seven days, while France and Germany have the lowest incidence rates. Norway has seen a slight increase in recent days before falling again. Switzerland’s rate has been falling

And the graph looks like this in map form with Sweden and Spain standing out with their infection rates higher than most of Europe compared to population size. Ireland and the Czech Republic have the highest rates.

2. Confirmed accumulated infections

France has by far the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases of the countries covered by The Local, although rising rates in the UK pushed it ahead of France in late December.

However, a lot depends on policies and testability. In all countries, the number of confirmed cases is less than actual cases due to limitations in testing capabilities.

3. The change in infections during the past two weeks.

This graph shows the change in the last two weeks in the number of confirmed infections. Therefore, the countries colored blue are the places where the pandemic is receding, and the darker the hue reflects the greater drop in infections.

Those in shades of red is where infections have increased over the past 14 days.

Here you can see very clearly the sharp increase in cases seen in Spain, Portugal and Ireland after the holiday season.

4. Average daily deaths

This chart shows the countries currently experiencing the highest death rates in the past seven days, with the UK far ahead of other countries averaging more than 1,000 per day.

Germany has also seen deaths rise to more than 800 per day.

Italy, which recorded the highest number of deaths in early December, has seen a decline in the death rate since then, following the pattern set by France, which had the highest number of deaths for most of October.

The following table shows the daily death rate when the size of the population is taken into account.

Here, Sweden’s high per capita death rate is clearly visible, rising in the second half of December and then declining over Christmas only to rise again in the last days.

5. Total deaths related to Covid-19

This graph shows the countries with the highest number of deaths linked to the Covid-19 virus. However, as the table points out, the tests and different ways of attributing cause of death mean that the number of confirmed deaths may not be an exact count of the actual number of deaths from Covid-19.

The UK and Italy have suffered more than 80,000 deaths related to the virus, while France is approaching the 70,000 mark.

The number of deaths in Denmark and Norway remains low in comparison.

6. First wave compared to the second wave

This graph shows how the increase in death rates compares with the first wave of the pandemic in the spring.

Here Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark stand out as countries where the second wave has been much more severe than the first.

Spain, by contrast, has so far had a relatively mild second wave after suffering one of the most severe first waves in Europe.

7. Test fees

This chart looks at how different countries stack up when it comes to assessing the population for Covid-19. Denmark is far ahead of other countries in the number of tests performed per thousand people.

An increase can be seen before Christmas when Danes were tested so they could see their relatives more safely.

8. Test positivity rate

The map and chart below show the test positivity rates for the past week. Ireland, Sweden and Germany have had some of the highest proportions of positive tests.

9. How strict are governments?

All the above charts are highly dependent on the strategies of each government and the restrictions they have imposed. The spikes are often followed by lockdowns that have caused rates to drop.

The Local has been reporting for the past few days and weeks, government action is constantly changing as infection rates rise, fall, or stagnate.

Sweden, and to a lesser extent Germany, are the only countries that have stricter restrictions in place today than at the peak of the first wave in the spring.

Most countries in Europe have tried to avoid going back to a second (and third) full or partial lockdown, although in recent weeks the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Italy have done so more or less.

Germany organized restaurants, leisure facilities and cultural sites to close early November, following a surge in infections, then mid-December closed schools, nonessential stores, and hair salons, as the number of infections began to increase again. The country is still under strict restrictions and may still be for a few weeks. according to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

France it ended its shutdown on December 15 and replaced it with a nightly curfew. However, with cases stalling at the 20,000-a-day mark, the government was keen to tighten restrictions further.

The state of alarm was imposed at the national level on October 26, which included a national curfew starting at 11:00 p.m.

In the first weeks of November, most regions closed bars and restaurants, causing new infections to drop steadily for the rest of the month.

In mid-January, with cases increasing rapidly, Spanish regions were tightening restrictions while some officials called for a new national blockade.

Switzerland It initially had one of the more relaxed approaches of the second wave, keeping bars and restaurants open as the number of new cases rose steadily through October.

This changed on October 28, when the government announced extensive new restrictions which were later followed by stricter restrictions in most cantons.

Switzerland just extended its restrictions and tightened them once again with the closure of all non-essential stores.

Sweden in October and November they included increasingly stringent recommendations, which had limited impact, perhaps because they were mostly voluntary.

It was only earlier this month that a new pandemic law It has meant that some restrictions are backed by fines.

Denmark brought a significant tightening at the end of Octoberand a partial blocking early december. The emergence of new variants has persuaded the Danish government to extend the current lockdown until February.

Austria has imposed a lockdown until January 25, which has seen schools and nn-essential stores closed, as well as orders for the stay-at-home public. The government has warned that it may extend beyond that date.

January 4 NorwayThe government introduced new restrictions. after an increase in cases. The measures included a national ban on serving alcohol at all businesses and events.

The best place to stay up-to-date with the latest restrictions and rules across Europe is through The Local’s nine individual country sites at Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Austria as well as our Europe site.

The following chart tries to show how strict government measures have been in different countries.

Our World in Data says: “The graph here shows how government response has changed over time. It shows the Government Strictness Index, a composite measure of the severity of policy responses.”

The index looks at measures including school and workplace closures, restrictions on public gatherings, transportation restrictions, and stay-at-home requirements, and gives a score of 100.



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