A second wave of coronavirus cases in Europe is not causing deaths to spike.
Although cases in Spain have soared to almost 15,000 a day – leading to a new lockdown in parts of Madrid – the number of deaths remains relatively low compared with the peak in spring.
There were 240 deaths in Spain on Thursday – much lower than the 929 daily deaths reached in late March when there were a recorded 9,000 cases a day.
A graph shows how the number of deaths in Spain has not risen with the number of positive cases
A graph shows how the number of deaths in France has not risen with the number of positive cases
A graph shows how the number of deaths in Sweden has not risen with the number of positive cases
In France, another 13,498 cases were reported yesterday. But the latest 24-hour death toll – 154 on Friday – is much lower than in mid-April when there were 1,400 deaths but 5,500 confirmed cases.
The difference may be explained by an increase in testing in the countries in recent months, but could also be a sign that the virus is mainly infecting younger, healthier people who survive the illness.
Sweden, which did not impose a lockdown, continues to have a significantly lower rate of cases and deaths from Covid-19.
On Tuesday, Sweden had its lowest number of new cases since March. In April, Covid deaths in a single day in Sweden peaked at 115. Now, some days, that figure is zero.
Reported infections have been climbing steadily across most of Europe over the past two months, with more than half of countries seeing an increase of over ten per cent in the past two weeks.