The number of global coronavirus cases has exceeded 40 million, according to a John Hopkins University tally. Total infections reached 40,050,902 on Monday, while there have been 1,113,750 deaths, most of which occurred in the US, followed by Brazil and India.

The first 10 million cases were recorded globally within a period of six months, with the subsequent cases piling up in smaller periods of time. The latest 10 million cases have been recorded within only 32 days. Global cases broke the single-day record on Friday, with more than 415,000 COVID-19 cases being documented in one day.

After successfully dealing with the first wave of the virus, Europe is once again emerging as the epicentre of COVID-19. As a region, Europe is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil and the United States combined and, over the last week, has been reporting an average of 140,000 cases a day.

According to a Reuters analysis, out of every 100 cases reported from around the world, 34 are from European countries. The United Kingdom, Russia, Netherland, France, and Spain accounted for half of Europe’s cases in the week leading to 18th October.

Portugal’s coronavirus cases have also passed the 100,000 mark, with nearly 2,000 new infections in the past 24 hours by Reuters. This came after the fresh implementation of new COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

New measures to combat the virus have also been implemented across many regions in Europe.

Belgium has imposed a nationwide curfew from Monday, while Switzerland has made wearing masks compulsory in indoor settings.

Austria is limiting gatherings to a maximum of six people indoors and 12 people outdoors, according to chancellor Sebastian Kurz, in order to combat the rising number of daily COVID-19 cases.

Italy reported a record figure of 11,705 cases over the last 24 hours, according to their health minister. Consequently, Italian mayors have been granted new powers to deal with the virus, including the ability to impose a 9 pm curfew on the public.

Poland, meanwhile, is turning stadiums into hospitals to deal with the rising number of cases. It has started the construction of its first field hospital at Warsaw’s national stadium, which will have the initial capacity of 500 beds and will be operational by the end of the week. More such hospitals are to follow within the coming weeks in other cities across the country.

Ireland is readying some of Europe’s toughest COVID-19 measures to combat the rise in cases, by moving from Level 3 to Level 5 of its lockdown tier. This would involve the shutting down of all non-essential stores, closing down bars and restricting travel within 5 kilometres of place of residence. Schools, however, would remain open.

The author is a former member of staff. She writes features on current affairs and is interested in issues of social justice, online behaviors, and popular culture. She tweets at @zainabmsheikh and can be reached at zainabmubashir@thecorrespondent.pk.

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