A woman makes phone call outside a closed cafe in Brussels, Belgium, Oct 8, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
BRUSSELS -- Europe is struggling with a new surge in COVID-19 cases, with countries hitting record daily highs.
Europe registered 96,996 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking its total to 6,558,747 with 243,767 deaths, according to the World Health Organization Thursday.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control added Thursday ten more countries to its "red list" on its coronavirus map, meaning those countries have crossed the threshold of 120 infections per 100,000 people in the past two weeks.
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Germany's COVID-19 cases jumped by 4,058 in the past 24 hours to reach 310,144, the first time that the number of new daily infections in the country has soared past 4,000 since early April.
A further 18,129 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in a 24-hour span in France, the second consecutive day that the country's daily number of COVID-19 cases topped 18,000.
Infections in Britain have reached record levels with over 17,000 new cases reported Thursday.
The Czech Republic reported 5,335 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, its highest one-day tally since the pandemic started. The rise surpassed a previous record of 4,457 reported the previous day.
The average number of new infections reported in Belgium has been increasing for seven days straight, with a record daily surge of 3,577 over the past day.
Poland reported a record of 4,280 daily coronavirus cases Thursday as well as a new daily record of 76 deaths related to the disease.
Austria reported its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases on record as a further 1,209 people tested positive in the past 24 hours, the highest number since the pandemic broke out.
Furthermore, Croatia, Slovenia and Latvia also saw a record daily spike in COVID-19 cases.
The German capital introduced its first curfew in 70 years for businesses on Tuesday. Starting from Saturday, restaurants, bars, local shops and other businesses will have to shut between 23:00 p.m. local time and 06:00 a.m.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran announced Thursday that four more cities in the country, namely Lille, Grenoble, Lyon and Saint-Etienne, have reached the maximum coronavirus alert zone and must implement stricter restrictions from Saturday morning, while Marseille and Guadeloupe were already on maximum alert from Sept. 28 and Paris from early this week.
British Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said Thursday that the government was "currently considering what steps to take." New measures to tackle coronavirus are expected to be announced "in the coming days," which could see pubs and restaurants closed in the worst-affected areas of England, according to the BBC.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Thursday that the wearing of face masks will be mandatory in all public spaces and commercial buildings across the country starting from Saturday.
The Czech Republic imposed Thursday new restrictions for the next 14 days as the country is now under another 30-day state of emergency, which begun on Monday. Restaurants and bars will have to close at 8 p.m. and a maximum four people will be allowed per table starting from Friday. Furthermore, all theaters, cinemas and zoos will be closed for at least two weeks starting from next Monday.
The Belgian capital moved to restore its coronavirus lockdown when Brussels ordered cafes and bars to close for a month from Thursday.