Covid-19 cases around the globe exceed 40 million 

Covid-19 cases around the globe exceed 40 million 

A woman wearing a face mask passes by the Euro sculpture in Frankfurt, Germany, today. AP Photo/Michael Probst

The number of Covid-19 cases has exceeded 40 million around the world, as nations look to tighten restrictions or reimpose lockdowns to bring the second wave of the pandemic under control.

More than one million Covid-19 deaths have occurred globally, with the World Health Organisation warning in recent weeks that the death toll could exceed two million, even with a vaccine.

In Ireland, the number has surpassed 50,000 since March, following dramatic daily increases in case numbers in recent weeks. The number of Covid-19 deaths now exceeds 1,800 and is rising, with more than 50 deaths recorded since the beginning of September.

The second Covid-19 surge in Ireland, which will see the entire country move towards tighter restrictions this week, is replicated elsewhere.

In the UK, daily case numbers soared to almost 17,000 yesterday

Europe reported a record weekly high of nearly 700,000 cases last week and record infection rates are now triggering new restrictions and lockdowns, such as wearing facemasks outdoors, closing schools, restaurants, and bars, or imposing city-wide curfews.

The Czech Republic, with the highest Covid-19 infection rate in Europe, saw more than 11,000 cases confirmed in a single day over the weekend. This led to new tougher restrictions being rolled out, including the closure of bars and restaurants and a ban on sporting activities, a move that sparked protests on the streets at the weekend.

In the UK, daily case numbers soared to almost 17,000 on Sunday. In Northern Ireland, schools will close for two weeks as part of a range of tougher measures introduced last Friday to curb viral spread, while Wales is facing a short-term ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown from Friday and more localised lockdowns could be escalated in the north of England.

In France, daily case numbers exceeded 32,000 over the weekend, triggering a 9pm curfew in nine cities, including Paris and Marseille, that will impact almost 20 million people over the next month.

Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries at the outset of the pandemic, is also giving mayors the power to impose a 9pm curfew in towns and cities after seeing daily case numbers surpass 11,000 over the weekend.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged people to stay home wherever possible as the country hit a new daily record of almost 7,700 cases last week.

Restrictions are also in place in Belgium, Holland, and Spain and are also on the way in Sweden, which has up to now adopted a more relaxed approach to the virus but is now considering new lockdown restrictions for local areas with high infection rates.

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