Spain and France both surpassed 1 million COVID-19 cases, as Europe's outbreak continues to spiral

  • Spain and France are the first European countries to record more than a million coronavirus cases.
  • Spain has now reported 1,005,295 cases, while France has recorded 1,000,369 cases, per Johns Hopkins University data.
  • Europe's second wave of the outbreak is spiraling, with governments enforcing harsh restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread.
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Spain and France became the first European countries to record more than one million coronavirus cases, as the continent's outbreak continues to spiral.

Spain became the first European country to reach the milestone on Wednesday, after it reported 16,973 new infections.

The new data brought its total confirmed cases to 1,005,295, according to figures shared by the BBC.

34,366 people have now died from the virus in the country, the seventh-highest death toll in the world, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

JHU data showed France becoming the second European country to pass one million cases, with 1,000,369 cases recorded as of Thursday morning.

34,075 people have now died in France, the eighth-highest number of deaths in the world.

Europe's cases are soaring

The new figures come as countries across Europe see record numbers of new cases. In many nations, the figures now dwarf what was seen in April and March.

The new spikes have caused governments across the continent to reintroduce harsh restrictions on cities, regions, and entire countries.

Authorities have largely avoided nationwide lockdowns, and have not imposed as many restrictions as in the spring, but have continued to expand the scope as the trajectory of the virus worsened.

Spain was one of the worst-affected countries in the world during the first wave of the virus, with more than 8,000 new cases regularly recorded a day during its March peak.

Those reduced to less than 500 a day during May and June, but has now reached new highs, with a record of 16,793 cases recorded on October 21.

This is what the country's cases have looked like over the pandemic:

France was not as badly affected as Spain and Italy in the first wave, but its cases now are dwarfing what it saw in its March peak.

Its record for cases in March was 7,578. Its new record on October 17 was 32,427.

Here's what its cases look like:

In Europe, both Italy and UK both have higher death tolls than Spain and France, though their cumulative case numbers remain below one million.

The next-most-affected European countries are the UK, which has more than 700,000 confirmed cases, Italy, with almost 450,000 confirmed cases, and Germany, with just under 400,000 confirmed cases.

How Europe compares globally

Unlike the US, many European countries managed to bring their outbreaks under control over the summer with some reporting almost no new coronavirus cases for months. But the virus returned in fall.

Both stand in contrast to most Asian countries, where cases were brought low and stayed low, and life is often back to normal.

The US first reached one million cases on April 28.

The US still has the highest number of confirmed virus cases in the world, with more than 8.8. million.

The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are India (7.7 million), Brazil (5.2 million), Russia (1.4 million), and Argentina (1 million), according to Johns Hopkins data.

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