Hospitals are now better able to diagnose and treat the virus, meaning mortality rates for ICU patients in some European countries have dropped from about 50% during the spring to roughly 20%, Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the UK’s University of Southampton, told CNN.

But Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta, Romania and Spain have all been seeing sustained death rate increases.

Many around the world are pinning their hopes for a return to normal life on the swift development of a coronavirus vaccine. There are currently 35 vaccines in human trials around the world but no certainty as to when any will be approved for general use.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief science officer at the World Health Organization, warned that it could be 2022 before people can begin thinking about returning to “pre-Covid” life.