17 photos show thousand of ill people flooding Europe's hospitals as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic grips the continent

  • In Europe, emergency wards are filling up amid a second coronavirus wave that has seen a record number of cases, hospitalization, and deaths.
  • A worrying increase in hospitalizations and deaths reported across the continent come despite some countries going into partial or full lockdowns over the colder winter months.
  • European leaders are hoping that the restrictions will flatten the curve as intensive care units fill up.
  • Scroll down to see how hospitals across Europe are coping at the moment, from Sweden to Greece.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Europe's second coronavirus wave is intensifying as the number of hospitalizations and deaths are dramatically rising across the continent.

On Thursday, the UK because the first country in Europe to pass 50,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to latest government figures.

Source: BBC

NHS bosses said this week they were seriously concerned by the number of hospitalizations, adding that medical professionals are facing a "very difficult winter."

Hospitals are currently treating just over 10,000 patients, but are expected to get close to 20,000 in the next few weeks.

Source: BBC

In France, hospitalizations are also rising rapidly, with the prime minister saying on Thursday that someone is being admitted to hospital every 30 seconds.

The hospitalizations come despite the country seeing a decrease in its infection rate.

"The pressure on our hospitals has intensified enormously," Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday, according to Sky News.

Source: Sky News 

The number of people infected with COVID-19 in French hospitals reached a new all-time high on Friday, with 32,638 reported admissions.

Source: The Guardian

The spike in cases and hospitalizations comes even though the country has been on one of the strictest second lockdowns in Europe.

People living in France are only allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons. If they leave for any other reason, they must have a permission form with them. 

Source: The Local France

Even in Germany — a country that was praised for handling the first COVID-19 wave efficiently — doctors are struggling to keep up with a rising number of cases.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, COVID-19 cases in the country hit a record of 23,542 on Friday.

Source: Robert Koch Institute

The figures are particularly dire in Berlin, which has one of Germany's highest infection rates.

Source: Deutsche Welle

But the country is still doing relatively well compared to others. At the beginning of the month, Germany's health minister said it would open its hospitals to neighboring countries.

Germany's health minister Jens Spahn said on October 30: "It makes us humble and grateful to be lucky enough to be able to support our neighbours. So far we have taken from the Netherlands. Of course, we will help Belgium, the Czech Republic and all our neighbours as soon as they ask and as long as we can," according to the Guardian.

Source: The Guardian

However, Germany's partial lockdown — which was put in place on November 2 — could be extended beyond the end of the month, government officials warned.

Government spokesman Stefan Seibert said lockdown measures "were not expected to be relaxed" by next week and that winter festivities were unlikely to go ahead, the Guardian reported.

Source: The Guardian

Meanwhile, Italy's hospitals are reaching a breaking point as cases continue to spike dramatically.

In Naples, the situation is so bad that medical staff were forced to bring oxygen tanks outside hospitals to treat patients waiting in their cars.

Source: Business Insider

"The situation in Campania is out of control," the Italian foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, said this week. "We need urgent restrictions…people are dying."

Source: The Guardian

His comments came after a heart-wrenching video emerged of a man who died in the bathroom of a Naples emergency room while waiting to be tested. He is suspected to have had COVID-19.

Source: Business Insider

The country passed the million-mark in total infections this week, with cases rising at more than 30,000 a day.

Source: Johns Hopkins University Tracker

Some good news has come out of Belgium and the Netherlands where new infections are slowing down. However, hospital services remain under severe pressure, with Belgium having to send some of their patients to Germany to be treated.

Source: The Guardian

Sweden — which thought its herd immunity strategy would prevent a second wave — is also struggling, reporting a record 5,990 new cases on Friday, its highest since the start of the pandemic.

Sweden's chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, admitted this week that the country is now experiencing a second wave of coronavirus despite predicting that its no-lockdown policy would prevent another wave.

Source: Business Insider

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