WASHINGTON • The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported yet another record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Thursday, with the total rising by more than 338,000 in 24 hours, led by a surge of infections in Europe.
Yesterday's number of global new cases looked set to hit yet another high, with some 360,000 additional infections already reported, based on statistics from Our World in Data as of last night.
Europe reported nearly 97,000 new cases on Thursday, the highest total for the region ever recorded by the global health body.
Global deaths rose by more than 5,500 that day, to 1.05 million.
The previous WHO record for new cases was 330,340 on Oct 2.
The agency reported a record 12,393 deaths on April 17.
As a region, Europe is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil or the United States.
India reported over 78,000 new cases on Thursday, followed by Brazil at nearly 42,000 and the US with almost 39,000 new infections, according to the WHO, whose data lags each country's daily reports.
According to a Reuters analysis of more recent country data, Covid-19 infections are rising in 54 countries, including surges in Argentina, Canada and much of Europe.
Infections in Britain have reached record levels, with more than 17,000 new cases reported on Thursday.
"We are seeing a definite and sustained increase in cases and admissions to hospital. The trend is clear, and it is very concerning," said Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England.
British Health Minister Matt Hancock warned that the country was at a "perilous moment", with Parliament set to vote on Tuesday on the imposition of a 10pm closing time for English pubs, bars and restaurants.
France's new daily Covid-19 infections remained above the record 18,000 threshold for a second consecutive day on Thursday, with new measures to curb the outbreak expected.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases climbed to 13,448, the highest since the outbreak started.
In Belgium, the average number of new infections reported has been increasing for seven days straight, and Germany reported its biggest daily increase in new cases since April on Thursday.
Romania and the Czech Republic are also suffering from a surge of new cases, with the Romanian authorities forced to suspend flights to and from high-risk countries and the Czech government further tightening anti-virus measures from next week.
While India still leads in the globe in the number of new cases reported per day, new infections in the country are in fact down some 20 per cent from the peak.
In the US, which has the largest total number of cases and deaths in the world, new infections are edging higher, along with the number of Covid-19 hospitalisations.
Outbreaks - from New Jersey to North Dakota - are straining healthcare in parts of the US, less than a month before the presidential election on Nov 3.
Texas' virus hospitalisations rose for a fourth straight day to 3,556, the highest since Sept 10, according to state health department data. It is the longest stretch of daily increases since July, when the state's outbreak was at its worst.
In the Middle East, the world's largest annual religious gathering is in full swing and posing formidable health hazards for the Iraqi authorities already struggling with a rise in infections.
Jordan yesterday entered a nationwide 48-hour lockdown, for the first time in months.