Global coronavirus cases have risen by more than 400,000 for the first time, a record one-day increase as much of Europe brings in new restrictions to a bid curb the outbreak.
Some European countries successfully managed the first surge of infections but now have become overwhelmed, reporting on average 140,000 cases a day over the past week.
This is more daily cases than India, Brazil and the United States combined.
Of every 100 infections reported around the world, 34 were from European countries.
Major European countries – United Kingdom, France, Russia, Netherlands and Spain – accounted for about half of Europe’s new cases in the week to October 18.
France is reporting the highest seven-day average of new cases in Europe with 19,425 infections per day followed by the United Kingdom, Russia, Spain and Netherlands in worst affected European countries.
Several countries have closed schools, are cancelling elective surgeries and enlisting student medics in the fight against the virus.
Russia is moving students to online learning and Northern Ireland is closing schools for two weeks and restaurants for four.
In Spain, authorities in Catalonia ordered bars and restaurants to close for 15 days.
The Czech Republic has also closed schools and plans to call up thousands of medical students.
While, hospitals are cutting non-urgent medical procedures to make beds available.
Polish health officials have warned the country is on the brink of a disaster as a record 6,526 new coronavirus infections and 116 deaths were reported this week.
Efforts to develop a vaccine have hit snags, with Johnson & Johnson pausing its trial after an unexplained illness in a study participant. AstraZeneca’s US trial has remained on hold for more than a month.
Russia, which recorded a record daily increase in cases, has meanwhile granted regulatory approval to a second vaccine.