New restrictions could be rolled out across Europe after 100,000 new coronavirus cases were recorded in a day for the first time since the pandemic began.
The surge in new cases has been flagged by leaders in countries such as Russia and the United Kingdom, where there has been no respite in growing case numbers over the last five days.
Cases have been rising steadily across the region and in worst-affected countries such as India and Brazil, according to reports.
The epicentre of the outbreak in Europe is now Russia, the UK, Spain and France, all of which have reported at least 10,000 cases each in the past three days.
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On Friday, Russia recorded its highest case numbers since May, forcing Moscow authorities to contemplate closing bars and nightclubs.
The United Kingdom recorded more than 17,000 cases on Thursday alone, with the country’s Health Minister Matt Hancock warning that the United Kingdom was at a “perilous moment”.
Spain’s federal government has declared a state of emergency for the virus-hit Madrid area to enforce a new partial lockdown, overriding both strong opposition from the regional authorities and a ruling by judges, who had cancelled the restrictions.
The lockdown covers some 4.5 million people in and around the capital, where the rate of infections is twice the national average, itself the highest in the EU.
France recorded new daily COVID-19 infections above the record 18,000 threshold for two days in a row on Thursday, with hospitals moving to an emergency mode and its biggest cities closing down establishments to curtail further spread of the virus.
Europe currently has recorded over 16 per cent of total global coronavirus cases and nearly 22 per cent of deaths worldwide due to the virus. On Thursday, when daily reported cases breached the 100,000 mark, Eastern Europe was the worst affected region with over 33,600 daily reported cases.
– with wires