New coronavirus cases soar in Europe: EU agency

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Weekly new COVID-19 cases have increased by 64.3 percent in the EU and EEA compared with the previous week, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control announced today.

The spread is being driven by the more infectious Delta variant. However, it hasn’t coincided with an increase in hospitalizations or ICU occupancy, with young people most affected.

The ECDC said the increase in new cases is most concentrated in the 15-to-24-year-old age group, while new cases in over 65-year-olds were “limited.” An increase in new cases was observed in 20 countries.

Hospitalizations were stable, the disease agency said. According to data from 24 countries, there were 4.2 people hospitalized with COVID-19 per 100,000 as of July 15, compared with a rate of 5 per 100,000 the week before. The number of patients in intensive care is also trending downward. The ECDC said that the rate ICU occupancy rate was 0.7 per 100,000, down from 0.9 per 100,000 a week before. The trend was increasing in two countries.

In its weekly summary report that it published on Thursday, the disease agency said that the “current continuing deterioration of the epidemiological situation in many countries is expected to continue,” due to the spread of the Delta variant.

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