CORONAVIRUS cases are rising in holiday hotspots Spain and France but the number of deaths is not going up.
Ministers have said Europe is seeing a “second wave” in the coronavirus pandemic, and are readying to axe more favoured destinations from the air bridge list.
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But figures show while cases are definitely rising across Europe in some spots, the deaths from new cases of Covid-19 have yet to follow this pattern.
Across the continent 36 countries have reported a rise in cases, based on a rolling seven-day average from a week before, but little change in death statistics.
Although this could be because on average a death from coronavirus can be around three weeks on from catching the disease, and therefore figures could show a tragic change in a few weeks.
Ministers today met with England’s chief medical officer and the Joint Biosecurity Centre over concerns holiday hotspots on the continent could lead to a rise in the UK.
Tomorrow the Government will announce a revised air bridge list with many more favourite spots expected to be included in the “quarantine when home” category.
Germany, France, Belgium and Croatia are considered “high risk” as they see upticks in infections.
Some have said the new clusters of infections are still relatively low and are not a surprise following the relation of restrictions.
It comes as:
Professor Anthony Costello, a former World Health Organization (WHO) official, said earlier “this is still the first wave”, while others said the rise in cases was “sharp” and a cause for concern.
Professor Keith Neal, an infectious disease expert at the University of Nottingham, told MailOnline: “We need to learn to live with it, the virus is going to keep spreading and causing spikes or clusters unless we keep restrictions or get a vaccine.
“I do not think we will ever eradicate the virus. I think it is likely that the virus will be around for decades and infect people multiple times over their life span.”
Spain saw cases almost triple there this month – with the Government announcing new restrictions on travel there in response.
On Saturday it was confirmed anyone coming into the UK from Spain must self-isolate for 14 days.
Brits already on holiday there or who had just booked to go away were left furious at the decision.
And Scotland today announced anyone returning there from Luxembourg would also have to quarantine for a fortnight – with the rest of the UK expected to make a similar call.
Although Spain had the biggest spike in excess mortality – deaths from all causes, not just coronavirus, above the five year average – England has had the longest continuous period with more deaths than usual.
Central Spain and Northern Italy were the worst hit regions in Europe – but England had the highest level of excess deaths of any country in the first half of this year.
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It comes after chiefs launched an urgent review into the accuracy of the death toll in England.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock ordered the investigation earlier this month over concerns about the accuracy of the statistics.