Coronavirus second wave has ALREADY PEAKED with infection rates dropping across Europe

France, which went into lockdown on October 30, has seen its daily coronavirus infection rate fall from 730 per million people to 508 per million. Belgium’s “R” number was the highest in Europe when it imposed national restrictions on November 2 but has seen its case rate drop from nearly 2,000 per million to 540 per million.

The Czech Republic has seen its cases per million drop from 1,400 to 734 since going into lockdown on October 21.

The Netherlands has gone down from 650 per million to 315 per million since introducing its second lockdown and and Ireland has also seen a reduction from 260 per million to 78 per million have seen similar drops since introducing their second lockdowns.

The figures come from Our World in Data which collates testing statistics from across the globe.

But despite the falling infections rates, governments have urged people to follow the rules until restriction are officially eased.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said there would be no relaxing of his country’s second lockdown for at least two weeks as the number of people in hospital is now higher than at the peak of the first wave.

Mr Castex said one in four deaths in the country was due to the virus and that while the ‘R’ rate had now fallen below 1 it was too early to contemplate relaxing measures.

He said: “It would be irresponsible to soften the lockdown now. The gains we are seeing are fragile.”

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The prime minister said if the slowdown in the rate of new cases was maintained, France would pass the peak of the second wave early next week.

But he warned he would not hesitate to impose stricter measures if the spread of infections quickened once more.

Infection rates have not gone down in nations which resisted imposing second lockdowns, according to the data.

Massimo Galli, the head of the infectious diseases department at Milan’s Sacco hospital, said: “I am afraid there is no doubt that the situation is largely out of control.

“Other illnesses don’t go on strike because COVID exists and we have to get organised otherwise the pandemic will end up doing damage that goes beyond the already very sad number of deaths.”

Spain had a daily infection rate of 1,120 per million when data was published on November 9.

Sweden, which decided against a national lockdown at the start of the pandemic, has recently introduced a 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants due to climbing infections rates.

Swedes have also been told not to mix with other households as the daily rate there has climbed to 425 per million up from 80 last month.