EUROPE’s new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases have doubled in five weeks, propelling the region on Sunday across the bleak milestone of 10 million total infections, according to a Reuters tally.

Just last month, both Latin America and Asia reported over 10 million total cases in their regions. The United States alone has over 9 million cases with a rapidly accelerating outbreak.

While Europe almost took nine months to record its first 5 million COVID-19 cases, the next 5 million cases were reported in slightly over a month, according to a Reuters analysis.

With 10% of the world’s population, Europe accounts for about 22% of the global caseload of 46.3 million infections. With over 269,000 deaths, the region accounts for some 23% of the global COVID-19 death toll of nearly 1.2 million lives lost.

Amid the surging cases, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have announced nationwide lockdowns for at least the next month that are almost as strict as the restrictions in March and April. Portugal has imposed a partial lockdown and Spain and Italy are tightening restrictions.

According to Reuters analysis, Europe has reported more than 1.6 million new cases in the past seven days, nearly half the 3.3 million reported worldwide, with over 16,100 deaths, a 44% jump over the previous week.

For every 10,000 people in Europe, over 127 coronavirus cases have been reported and about four people have died, according to a Reuters analysis. In the United States there have been 278 cases and seven deaths per 10,000 residents.

Within the region, Eastern Europe has nearly one-third of the total reported COVID-19 cases, the highest number of cases, while Southern Europe leads the death toll with about 32% of the total coronavirus-related deaths in Europe, according to a Reuters analysis.

Russia is the worst-affected Eastern European country with over 1.6 million COVID-19 infections. The nation’s Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said on Wednesday that hospital beds were at 90% of capacity in 16 regions of the country.

Governments across Europe have been under fire for a lack of coordination and for failing to use a lull in cases over the summer to bolster defenses, leaving hospitals unprepared. — Reuters