Coronavirus Infection numbers are climbing to record highs in at least nine European countries, prompting new restrictions across the continent.
The nine hard-hit nations — including Italy, France, Spain and Germany — saw the highest daily increase in cases since the pandemic began, according to CNN.
“The general situation has become very serious,” Lothar Wieler, the president of Germany’s RKI public health institute said at a press conference in Berlin. “We have to expect that the virus will continue to spread rapidly.”
France reported a new record for daily coronavirus infections, with 41,622 new cases in the24 hours leading up to Thursday. Italy reported another daily record with 16,079 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours — up from yesterday’s record of 15,199. Spain, which this week became the first European nation to hit 1 million cases, recorded 20,986.
New COVID-19 infections in Germany reached a new record and increased by 11,287 within one day to a total of 392,049, while the Netherlands saw 9,283 and Portugal recorded 3,270.
Poland reported their highest daily totals for a second day running, at around 12,100, along with the Czech Republic, which reported 14,968 and Greece, which reported 882.
Greece imposed a curfew from 12:30 a.m to 5 a.m in areas most affected, the prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Thursday, announcing restrictions on movement in several areas of the country including Athens.
Ireland’s government is putting the country at its highest level of coronavirus restrictions for six weeks. Officials installed a midnight curfew and closed all non-essential businesses for six weeks. The new measures took effect at midnight Wednesday and run until Dec. 1.
Spanish authorities are also considering a curfew in its capital city, Madrid.
Last week the French government declared a state of emergency by putting in place a strict curfew in Paris and eight other cities.
The New York Post reported more than 41,500,000 COVID-19 cases have now been recorded across the country since the virus emerged late last year, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 1,135,000 people have died, though fatality rates in the US have declined sharply.