Coronavirus: Cases jump in Europe as Germany orders tests for travellers

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By Mathieu Pollet
European countries are increasing coronavirus prevention methods.
European countries are increasing coronavirus prevention methods.   -  Copyright  Pascal POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP

European countries are reporting a rise in coronavirus cases since lockdown measures were eased two months ago.

On Thursday, Germany's health minister Jens Spahn said there were a lot of small outbreaks and that "people are getting infected at family parties, at their place of work or at community facilities.”

Spahn also announced that starting this weekend travellers arriving from high-risk countries, such as the United States, would have to take a coronavirus test.

Germany has voiced alarm after the country's disease control centre reported 1,045 cases on Wednesday — the first time since May 7 that it has counted more than 1,000 new cases in a day.

Meanwhile, France’s daily coronavirus infections reached the highest in more than two months on Wednesday, with 1,695 new cases reported.

Infections are also increasing in Spain, where 1,772 new cases were reported on Wednesday.

In the UK, the government said 50 million face masks won't be used due to safety concerns. The masks were purchased at the hight of the pandemic to provide protective equipment for health workers.

Papers filed in a court case said the masks have ear loops rather than head loops and may not fit tightly enough. The papers are part of a lawsuit against the ruling Conservative government by campaigning groups the Good Law Project and EveryDoctor.

Global deaths

At least 701,027 people have died globally due to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

There have been more than 18.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus throughout the world after the virus first emerged in late 2019 in China.

The United States, Brazil and Mexico have suffered the highest number of deaths. More than 150,000 people have died in the US while Brazil has more than 95,000 confirmed deaths and Mexico has a toll of over 48,000.

Europeans countries have also been severely impacted by the virus outbreak, with several countries suffering tens of thousands of deaths.

The United Kingdom has the fourth-highest death toll in the world with more than 46,000 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19.

Italy and France both reported more than 30,000 deaths and Spain has reported over 28,000.

Almost one in three deaths has occurred in Europe, where more than 200,000 people have died.

Now, many European countries are preparing for a potential second wave of the outbreak.

In some countries, wearing a mask is mandatory in certain settings and governments are preparing for potential local lockdowns and increased testing amid a resurgence of the virus.