Novel coronavirus cases in Europe are "almost back" to March levels, the director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Andrea Ammon, said on Wednesday during a debate held by EU Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.
“The virus hasn't been sleeping over the summer so it didn't take vacation and that is something that we see now," Ammon said.
"We have seen now this week that the notification rate in the EU and EEA (European Economic Area) countries and the UK is now 46 per 100,000. You may remember that at one point we have been already below 15 so there is an increase and this increase we have been seeing now for more than five weeks. It has been a slower increase (than) we had in March. However, we are almost back to the numbers that we have seen in March,” Ammon said.
“In August, now, we are seeing more that also (an) older population is affected, indicating that it's really a true increase in transmission," she added.
Regarding schools reopenings and the risk of coronavirus spikes, Ammon said: “there are very few significant outbreaks in schools that have been documented and the evidence is really at the moment conflicting, meaning it's very inconclusive to say whether it's useful or not from a transmission point of view to close schools.”