MADRID – Several European countries reported on Friday their highest infection rates since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, one day after the World Health Organization warned of a “very serious” situation on the continent.
The Czech Republic and Hungary saw the biggest surge in cases since the outbreak began while others including Spain, France, Germany and Russia also faced rising infection rates.
A total of 3,130 cases were detected in the past 24 hours, the highest figure in the country since the start of the pandemic, a jump of more than 1,000 from the previous day.
There are almost 23,300 active infections in the Czech Republic, of which around 400 are being treated in hospital, including 90 in a serious condition, according to health officials.
A total of 489 deaths have been recorded in a country, which is home to 10.6 million people.
The Czech Republic has been the third worst European country in the last 14 days, with an average of 143 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, behind only Spain and France, according to data from the European Commission.
Fresh restrictions have been imposed, including capping indoor events at 10 people and mandatory masks in schools.
Hungarian officials also reported the highest number of fresh cases since the start of the outbreak, with 941 infections in the past 24 hours.
The total number of confirmed cases so far in the country, which has a population of 9.7 million, was just over 16,100, while the death toll was 669.
Around 370 COVID-19 patients were being treated in hospital, including 29 on ventilators, and another 27,866 people were in quarantine.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned that the country could soon see more than 1,000 daily cases.
Spain currently has the highest infection rate in Europe and has reported more than 625,600 confirmed cases and 30,400 deaths since the pandemic began.
A large number of these have been in Madrid, which has recorded around 186,800 infections and 15,727 deaths.
The capital’s regional government announced a new series of measures that will come into force on Monday, limiting social gatherings to no more than six people and putting neighborhoods which have seen the most infections back into partial lockdown.
Selective quarantines have previously been imposed in other regions of Spain, including Catalonia and Aragon, which has stabilized infection rates.
Lyon and Nice were preparing for more measures as their daily case rates rose to 197 and 146, respectively.
It came after restrictions on public meetings were implemented in Bordeaux and Marseilles with a maximum of 10 people meeting in public spaces as well as cancelling large events and weddings and limiting care home visits.
The French government has warned that circulation of the contagion is “very active” nationally.
Authorities reported 10,593 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 415,481 along with 31,095 deaths, 50 of them in the last day.
Health minister Jens Spahn warned that everyone has a collective responsibility to help curb infections after almost 2,000 fresh cases were detected in the last 24 hours.
He said “banal, but very effective” measures including social distancing, hygiene and masks needed to be adhered to and warned that infections have been spreading at celebrations, family gatherings, weddings and religious services.
Officials recorded 1,916 daily infections on Friday, a slight drop from 2,194 the previous day which was the highest figure since April 23.
There have been 9,378 deaths in the country and around 267,700 confirmed cases, of which 20,000 are active.
The Russian capital registered 805 infections in the last 24 hours, the highest daily figure since June 26.
Moscow has been the focus of the outbreak in Russia, with just over 274,800 cases and 5,033 deaths.
Officials put the increase in cases down to more testing, between 40,000 and 60,000 are being conducted daily, and a rise in the number of people using public transport.
Moscow’s metro transports several million people each day and although masks and gloves are mandatory for passengers, many ignore these rules.
Russia has the world’s fourth-highest number of infections with 1,091,186 confirmed cases and 19,195 deaths.