New profile takes a look at coronavirus spread through Europe
The rapid spread of the new coronavirus across Europe which experts warn could spread even further has generated a new profile taking a closer look at the overall spread of the disease.
The shape is haphazard and differs from one person to the next though scientists say these differences are largely as a result of a lack of data. They have developed a digital health profile to help data sources. The researchers have published their work in PLOS ONE.
The research highlights Europe as an important source of rapid unexpected transmission because it is a major continent with a population density of 3000 people per sq km (2. 2 adults per 5. 2 children).
Foreign travel and longer temperature
WHO has said that Europe is among the most susceptible regions of Europe surrounding the US following comparisons with other regions such as North America. As a result they are putting in place measures for preventing and containing this cross-borne virus that has infected mostly people from fireworks-related industries. Influenza transmission from food are also recorded.
The researchers enlarged Europe in case the previous 70-km limitation was not applied allowing them to take a wider look at total number of cases and deaths.
For example they calculate the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases as 28855. They estimate the overall number of cases from the beginning of March until 31 August 2020 at 254493.
With some smaller variations on the scale they used to calculate the incidence figure there were some data discrepancies across Europe. In Norway for example the official death toll has been up by almost 60 from the start of the outbreak and the increase was only seen for males from the beginning of the outbreak.
In Finland the total number of cases has nearly doubled from the start of the outbreak from the beginning of April to the latest up to 8861.
And while a deep decline seems to have broken down in China the country still maintains the record of around 11000 deaths only with the amount estimated at around 429.
In Italy for example around 8000 deaths have been reported since March 10. Since then around 82000 have occurred (around 49) a 23 increase.
The methodology revealed that various countries varied in their risk analysis for this disease outbreak. Bulgaria and Romania were shown to be particularly at greater risk than Europe as a whole.
The results also confirmed weaknesses in national CDC surveillance systems across Europe as the worst-hit country is Belgium and just a few more data points are included globally.
The overall risk overall was low with just over 5000 cases having been found to be forming a new infection.
While the smaller geographical distribution of cases highlights the weakness in surveillance systems across Europe experts think this is only a regional issue because the disease is so spread inside people.
Austerity measures are real risk
The government across Europe has been cutting back on support for those who are most vulnerable: those in employment or receiving care.
The cash-strapped institutions however have been unwilling to continue providing such services fearing a short-term economic impact. In some countries they are unable to find enough staff to work from home.
The European Commission data also showed that Spain the worst-hit country by disease in the European Union still faces a large deficit to deal with as a result of its austerity policies.
The 22-nation euro zone budget deficit stands at 1 of gross domestic product. Only Portugal Ireland and Britain – with a total deficit of 9. 7 of GDP maintain a positive deficit ratio below 1. The International Monetary Fund estimated in its mid-quarter report that the eurozone situation relies on an austerity approach.
The best answer is a reopening of the economy said Pascual Olumalo an economics professor at the University of La Laguna Spain who presented a paper in April claiming a 3 trillion (3. 4 trillion) fiscal boost to the region.
But the overall picture is not one of comfort though. The European Union has suggested that member states could begin reopening at their own pace despite the easing of the virus measures.
It has already suggested measures to help food producers boost their output in the coming weeks a measure that would also involve reopening tourism schools and most businesses.