Everybody thought Germany and Italy wouldn't see a second wave of the coronavirus … possibly now


A street vendor wearing a face mask (L) proposes straw hats to tourists in front of the Colosseum monument on August 22, 2020 in Rome during the Covid-19 infection caused by the novel coronavirus.


As the number of coronavirus cases began to surge in France, Spain and the UK this month, there were question marks as to why Italy – the epicenter of Europe's first outbreak in the spring – and Germany, Europe's largest economy, weren't seeing similar gains.

However, looking at the latest data, it seems that Italy and Germany cannot avoid a second wave of the pandemic after all.

The Italian Ministry of Health reported 1,640 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, 250 more than the previous day. On Monday, 1,350 new cases were reported from the previous day, which shows how quickly the number of infections is rising.

Population density regions such as Campania (where Naples is located), Lazio (where Rome is located) and Tuscany (the region where the first European outbreak occurred) have seen sharp increases in recent days, data from the Ministry of Health shows.

An increase in the number of tests performed could be responsible for the increase. ANSA news agency told the Ministry of Health that 103,696 swab tests were performed on Wednesday, around 16,000 more than Tuesday and the highest number in Italy in a single day since the pandemic began.

However, as Italian neighbors France (which has reported more than 10,000 new daily cases multiple times since Saturday) and Spain (with a similar 7-day average) have previously experienced, the data shows that cases are gradually increasing in Italy. Further afield, the number of daily reported coronavirus cases in the UK rose by a quarter last day, according to the BBC. The UK reported 6,178 cases on Wednesday, an increase of 1,252 since Tuesday when further national measures, including early restaurant closings, were announced to stem the surge.

Infections are also on the rise in Germany, a country that has been lauded for its initial response to the pandemic, which has been extensively tracked, tested and tracked since the pandemic began.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany's health authority that monitors the course of the epidemic there, reported a further 2,143 new infections on Thursday morning, after 1,769 new infections had been registered on Wednesday and 1,821 new infections the day before. The cities of Munich and Hamburg are currently special hotspots for the virus. Two government ministers went into quarantine Wednesday after being in close contact with people who tested positive for the virus.

Fortunately, as has been seen in France and Spain in recent weeks, the deaths caused by the virus seem to have remained small so far. Germany reported 19 more deaths on Thursday (the total death toll is still below 10,000) and Italy reported 20 more deaths from the previous day on Wednesday.

While France, Spain and the UK have put more local restrictions in place (like local lockdowns in Madrid and parts of northern England), Germany and Italy have yet to put in place restrictive measures for the public, although there are signs that politicians are starting to react on the latest Developments.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to meet with regional leaders next week to discuss the rise in infections. According to reports, the reintroduction of quarantine for travelers from abroad is being discussed in Berlin, the German newspaper Bild reported on Thursday. In Italy, Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced on Monday that he had signed an order forcing anyone to return from Paris or another part of France, where the virus to be tested was spread "on a significant scale".


Steven Gregory