Chart shows which European countries are hardest hit by coronavirus – and how UK compares

Jimmy Nsubuga
·3-min read

Watch: Coronavirus: As UK cases seem to be rising sharply, should we be panicking again?

As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the UK, elsewhere in Europe, there is a big variance in how different countries are coping with the resurgence of COVID-19.

A new Our World in Data chart shows Spain and France are struggling with a “second wave” of infections, while Germany, Italy and Sweden seem to have it under control.

The UK is positioned in the middle of the nations after 3,105 new cases were reported on Tuesday, more than double the 1,508 new infections that emerged on 2 September.

In that time the number of people in hospital in England with coronavirus has doubled from 425 to 884.

The overall UK tally has now risen to 374,228 infections.

Spain and France are struggling with new infection (Picture: Our World in Data)
Spain and France are struggling with new infection (Picture: Our World in Data)

On Tuesday, France reported 7,852 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, rising from 6,158 new infections on Monday.

The health ministry also reported the number of arrivals in hospital for coronavirus over the last seven days had risen to 2,713, compared with 2,561 recorded on Monday.

The cumulative number of cases now totals 395,104, with 30,999 people having died from the infection.

French prime minister Jean Castex said on Friday his government was not planning a new lockdown but would instead implement a raft of less radical measures, including fast-tracked testing for priority cases.

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 10: Tourists wearing protective masks walk in San Marco Square, on September 10 2020 in Venice, Italy. Venice is slowly trying to revamp its tourism industry after a 2-month long lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. After a summer with no tourists that left many of its employees without a job. Nowadays a few tourists have returned mainly coming from Germany, Austria, Holland and France who are now visiting the city again in a once overcrowded city of holidaymakers.  (Photo by Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Tourists wearing protective masks walk in San Marco Square in Venice, Italy. (Getty)

Like France, Spain imposed one of the strictest lockdowns but it is now also seeing a worrying increase in infections.

Since restrictions on movement were lifted and mass testing began in late June, infections have risen from a few hundred a day to thousands, outstripping other hard-hit nations such as the UK, Italy or France.

Spain’s cumulative number of cases, at 603,167, is the highest in Western Europe, while the number of deaths exceeded 30,000.

The Madrid region, one of the worst-hit in Spain, is to introduce targeted lockdowns and other restrictions on movement on Friday in areas with high COVID-19 cases.

Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn expressed confusion over the rising infections in Spain, saying: “There aren’t many other countries in the European Union to have adopted such tough measures to contain the first wave.”

Meanwhile, Germany, Italy and Sweden are faring much better.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 1,407 to 261,762 on Tuesday, with the death toll increasing by 12 to 9,362, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

New cases in Italy fell to 202 from 283 on the same day.

The number of confirmed cases in the country amounts to 235,763, the seventh-highest global tally.

New infections and deaths have been at a low level in Sweden in recent weeks despite the country deciding not to fully lockdown when the pandemic hit earlier this year.

It reported 188 new cases on Tuesday, with a total of 87,575 confirmed infections. There have been 5,860 deaths.

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