European governments are also scrambling to impose new restrictions to protect hospitals from running out of beds.
Even Sweden, which took a unique approach at the beginning of the pandemic by not closing schools or businesses, is now working on imposing restrictions for the first time due to a concerning rise in deaths.
As of Friday, France had the highest seven-day average of cases in Europe, recording nearly 20,000 infections per day, according to Reuters.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, experts have warned that a second, more deadly wave, could begin in the fall when people started spending more time indoors, as happened during the 1918 flu pandemic.
However, the coronavirus appears to becoming less fatal as the pandemic wears on and doctors get better at treating the disease.
Spain, for example, has been experiencing a second wave of the virus since July. Since the second wave the highest daily death count has been 380, recorded on September 30 — which is much lower than the 961 deaths recorded during the first wave on April 20.
A volunteer receives an injection from a medical worker during the country’s first human clinical trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine in Soweto, South Africa, on June 24, 2020.
The world is also getting closer to finding an effective coronavirus vaccine.
Multiple drug companies nearing the end of their clinical trials, with the two of the most promising vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Moderna.
Pfizer said it’s preparing to possibly send its vaccine to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval by the end of November. Meanwhile, UK officials said they are preparing for a vaccine to be ready shortly after Christmas.
Dispersing a vaccine could take some time, though. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization, said last week that young people may have to wait until 2022 to receive a vaccine, so that more vulnerable people in the population can get it first.