More than six months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the 14-day incidence rate across Europe is surging again.
WHO is to give its latest update on the pandemic at 12:00 CET. The briefing will be available to watch live in the player above.
Nineteen of the 31 countries monitored by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control currently have a 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population exceeding 20.
Six of them — Belgium, France, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, and Sweden — have rates over 40 per 100,000 while Luxembourg and Spain have more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
In mid-July, only four EU member states had crude incidence rates of over 40.
Health officials across the EU and the WHO have stressed that the uptick in cases is particularly affecting young people who are letting their guards down as the northern hemisphere goes through its summer.
Multiple member states including France, Spain and Italy have extended their face masks requirement to crowded outdoor places while the UK has imposed multiple local lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus.
The EU/EEA and the UK have lost 179,660 lives to the pandemic.
Over 767,000 COVID-19 deaths and 21.5 million confirmed infections have been reported to WHO since the beginning of the outbreak.
The Americas have so far been the most heavily impacted. The region accounts for over half — 417,699 — of the global death toll, with the US recording more than 170,000 fatalities alone.