Coronavirus: UK infection rate ‘frightening’ Europe, Austria says


Austria’s health minister said today that Britain’s infection rate from coronavirus was ‘frightening’ European policymakers.

Rudi Anschober highlighted the rapid growth in UK cases at a press conference today where he hailed Austria’s own success in slowing the outbreak.

The minister held up a chart showing the average daily growth in infections over the last 10 days, on which Austria performed best and Britain worst.

‘That’s what’s frightening a lot of people on a European level at the moment, that’s the figure in Britain of 7.5 per cent,’ he said, pointing to the UK column.

The equivalent figure for Austria was 1.8 per cent, according to the minister’s graph.

The figures were 5.7 per cent in Sweden, 3.7 per cent in France, 3.2 per cent in Spain, 3.0 per cent in Germany, 2.5 per cent in Italy and 2.2 per cent in Switzerland, his figures showed.

Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober highlighted the rapid growth in UK cases at a press conference today where he hailed Austria’s own success in slowing the outbreak

The UK is among a handful of countries singled out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for having ‘tempered’ positive signs that Europe is passing the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Dr Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said while there have been ‘optimistic signs’ in countries worst affected by coronavirus, others such as the UK demonstrate ‘sustained or increased levels of incidents’.

The latest figures from the Department of Health show 13,729 patients had died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Wednesday – an increase of 861 on the previous day – with the UK braced for an extension of lockdown.

During the weekly WHO Europe briefing on Thursday morning, Dr Kluge described how ‘the storm cloud’ of Covid-19 ‘still hangs heavily over the European region’.

The UK was one of a handful of countries he singled out for providing an antidote to optimism elsewhere among the 53 members in the WHO’s European region.

He said: ‘Of the 10 countries in the region with the highest numbers of cases, there have been optimistic signs in terms of the climbing numbers in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland in recent weeks.

‘But small positive signals in some countries are tempered by sustained or increased levels of incidents in other countries, including in the UK, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.’

The UK was one of a handful of countries he singled out for providing an antidote to optimism elsewhere among the 53 members in the WHO's European region.

The UK was one of a handful of countries he singled out for providing an antidote to optimism elsewhere among the 53 members in the WHO’s European region. 

Dr Kluge said the number of positive coronavirus cases reported in Europe ‘nearly doubled in 10 days’ to nearly one million, accounting for around half of all cases reported worldwide.

Dominic Raab claims international data does not support WHO criticism of UK

At the press conference on Thursday Mr Raab was asked about the World Health Organisation’s assessment of the UK in battling the deadly pandemic by Metro journalist Dominic Yeatman.

He responded: ‘I don’t think the data internationally, and Patrick talked through some of it which shows the international comparisons, would bear that out.

‘But I haven’t heard and seen the direct comments so I’ll pass judgement on that for now.’ 

Some of the worst-hit countries in Europe, including Spain and Italy, have announced a slight relaxation of some lockdown measures, including partial returns to work.

He added: ‘The next few weeks will be critical for Europe.

‘Make no mistake – despite the spring weather, we are in the middle of a storm.’

Current figures show the coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 2 million people worldwide, with more than 137,000 deaths recorded.

The US has recorded more than 30,000 deaths – the most in the world – and over 600,000 confirmed infections, according to a Johns Hopkins University count.

It came as foreign leaders rushed to the defence of the WHO after president Donald Trump again vowed to halt US payments to the agency over allegations it has not sounded the alarm sooner over the virus.

The WHO said the US contribution represented around 15% of its budget and called on the president to re-think.

Graphs show coronavirus infections ‘flattening’ for countries coming out of pandemic ‘peak’ – but the WHO warns Britain’s numbers are a black mark among Europe’s ‘positive signs’ 

by Chris Pleasance for MailOnline 

The spread of coronavirus appears to be slowing down or leveling off in countries around the world after half the world’s population found itself under lockdown orders.

Graphs charting the number of daily infections in countries such as the US reveal how dramatic increases throughout March have now begun to stabilise. 

Meanwhile previous hotspots such as Italy and Spain have seen new infections begin to tumble – a month after nationwide lockdown measures were first put into place. 

Dr Hans Kluge, WHO director for Europe, said there were ‘optimistic signs’ that the virus has begun to recede on some parts of the continent – but they were being cancelled out by bad news elsewhere.

He singled out the UK, along with the likes of Belarus and Russia, as reason to believe that Europe is still ‘in the eye of the COVID-19 storm’. 

‘Of the 10 countries in the region with the highest numbers of cases, there have been optimistic signs in terms of the climbing numbers in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland in recent weeks.

‘But small positive signals in some countries are tempered by sustained or increased levels of incidents in other countries, including in the UK, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.’

Today the UK reported 4,618 new cases and 861 more deaths, both slightly higher than yesterday, taking Britain’s infection total past 100,000. The latest figures are 103,093 cases and 13,729 deaths. 

‘The next few weeks will be critical for Europe,’ Kluge said. ‘Make no mistake – despite the spring weather, we are in the middle of a storm.’

Underlining his point is the fact that daily death tolls have continued to rise in many places even as new infections fall, due to the time it takes an infected person to become sick enough to die. 

Here, MailOnline graphs reveal how the surge in coronavirus cases has begun to slow down:

GLOBAL

A graph showing the number of new infections in various countries, starting on the day they first recorded five infections. The graph shows a rolling average, meaning it shows trends in the data rather than exact figures. The Y-axis is scaled due to the large difference in numbers between worst-hit countries such as USA and Britain, and countries which were less badly hit, such as Australia and South Korea. In an evenly-scaled graph, the worst-hit countries' readings would show a much steeper curve

A graph showing the number of new infections in various countries, starting on the day they first recorded five infections. The graph shows a rolling average, meaning it shows trends in the data rather than exact figures. The Y-axis is scaled due to the large difference in numbers between worst-hit countries such as USA and Britain, and countries which were less badly hit, such as Australia and South Korea. In an evenly-scaled graph, the worst-hit countries’ readings would show a much steeper curve

USA

A graph showing the total number of new coronavirus cases confirmed each day in the US. After three weeks of continual rises, the number of new cases reported each day has stabilised over the past 10 days

A graph showing the total number of new coronavirus cases confirmed each day in the US. After three weeks of continual rises, the number of new cases reported each day has stabilised over the past 10 days

A graph showing the total number of deaths from coronavirus reported each day in the US. The number has kept peaking even as new infections have stabilised, because of the time it takes for a newly infected person to get sick enough to die

A graph showing the total number of deaths from coronavirus reported each day in the US. The number has kept peaking even as new infections have stabilised, because of the time it takes for a newly infected person to get sick enough to die

NEW YORK

A graph showing the number of people ending up in hospital in New York state each day, the worst-affected of the American states. Governor Andrew Cuomo has begun discussing how to reopen the state after the daily total began falling

A graph showing the number of people ending up in hospital in New York state each day, the worst-affected of the American states. Governor Andrew Cuomo has begun discussing how to reopen the state after the daily total began falling

A graph showing the net change in total hospitalisations in New York state per day, revealing that the number of people ending up in hospital has been slowing since April 2 and went into reverse in the past week

 A graph showing the net change in total hospitalisations in New York state per day, revealing that the number of people ending up in hospital has been slowing since April 2 and went into reverse in the past week

A graph showing the number of new infections recorded each day in New York state. While the state hit a record 11,571 on Tuesday, the figure had been largely stable or in decline before that - indicating that it is likely a blip in the data

A graph showing the number of new infections recorded each day in New York state. While the state hit a record 11,571 on Tuesday, the figure had been largely stable or in decline before that – indicating that it is likely a blip in the data

A graph showing the daily death toll from coronavirus in New York state, revealing that it has remained high by stable over the past week as the number of new cases also stabilises

A graph showing the daily death toll from coronavirus in New York state, revealing that it has remained high by stable over the past week as the number of new cases also stabilises 

UK

Two charts showing the number of new coronavirus deaths each day in the UK, and the number of new infections, both of which have remained high but stable as government advisers say it appears the country has passed its peak

Two charts showing the number of new coronavirus deaths each day in the UK, and the number of new infections, both of which have remained high but stable as government advisers say it appears the country has passed its peak 

 ITALY

A graph showing the number of new coronavirus cases in Italy, the world's worst-affected country. The number of new infections has been falling consistently for a month, as the government begins easing some lockdown restrictions

A graph showing the number of new coronavirus cases in Italy, the world’s worst-affected country. The number of new infections has been falling consistently for a month, as the government begins easing some lockdown restrictions 

A graph showing the daily death toll in Italy, which has been falling consistently for three weeks. Italy has the highest death total of any world country at more than 21,000, but the situation there is improving

A graph showing the daily death toll in Italy, which has been falling consistently for three weeks. Italy has the highest death total of any world country at more than 21,000, but the situation there is improving

 SPAIN

A graph showing the daily total of new coronavirus infections in Spain, which has also been trending downwards since the start of the month - prompting the government to relax some lockdown rules

A graph showing the daily total of new coronavirus infections in Spain, which has also been trending downwards since the start of the month – prompting the government to relax some lockdown rules

A graph showing the daily total of deaths from coroanvirus in Spain, also showing a strong downward trend during April

A graph showing the daily total of deaths from coroanvirus in Spain, also showing a strong downward trend during April 

 GERMANY

A graph showing the total number of coronavirus cases each day in Germany, which shows that infections have been trending gradually downwards since the start of the month - but with several steep peaks and troughs

A graph showing the total number of coronavirus cases each day in Germany, which shows that infections have been trending gradually downwards since the start of the month – but with several steep peaks and troughs 

A graph showing the daily number of deaths in Germany, which have kept rising even as cases go into gradual decline because of the delay between people getting infected and becoming sick enough to die

A graph showing the daily number of deaths in Germany, which have kept rising even as cases go into gradual decline because of the delay between people getting infected and becoming sick enough to die 

 SWEDEN

A graph showing the daily infection totals in Sweden, which had been climbing steeply but now appear to be trending downwards. Sweden is significant because it is one of a handful of European countries not to go into lockdown

A graph showing the daily infection totals in Sweden, which had been climbing steeply but now appear to be trending downwards. Sweden is significant because it is one of a handful of European countries not to go into lockdown 

A graph showing the daily number of deaths in Sweden, which have begun to peak around a week after infections

A graph showing the daily number of deaths in Sweden, which have begun to peak around a week after infections

 AUSTRALIA

A graph showing the number of daily infections in Australia, overlaid with a line graph showing the rate of increase. Both have been trending strongly downwards since late March - though the country will remain in lockdown for another month

A graph showing the number of daily infections in Australia, overlaid with a line graph showing the rate of increase. Both have been trending strongly downwards since late March – though the country will remain in lockdown for another month 

 

 

 

 

 

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