Coronavirus deaths in Europe rise sharply: WHO
Europe's daily deaths from the coronavirus pandemic rose by nearly 40% compared with the previous week, as a second wave of COVID-19 infections sweep much of Europe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO spokeswoman Dr Margaret Harris said France, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands and Russia accounted for the majority of cases which increased by a third.
"The concern... is that intensive care units in hospitals are now beginning to fill with very ill people," she warned.
France has emerged as the epicenter, causing hospitals to brace for a surge of new patients and pushing the government to consider tough new restrictions in some places.
The country saw daily cases top 50,000 over the weekend, while the seven-day average of new daily cases has increased by more than 50% over the past week, reaching 38,278 on Tuesday. That compares with a seven-day average of 69,967 cases in the US, whose population is around five times as big.
Russia reported a daily record of 320 deaths, pushing the tally to 26,589.
There has been a sharp increase in Italy too, with 221 fatalities announced in the past 24 hours. The total number of fatalities in Austria went above 1,000 on Tuesday.
Russia has the world's fourth highest number of Covid-19 cases after the US, India and Brazil. It recorded another 16,550 infections on Tuesday alone and authorities have now made the wearing of face masks compulsory in all crowded places.
While infections surged in Italy too, to almost 22,000 in the past 24 hours, officials said testing had also been ramped up. Protests took place in towns and cities across Italy on Monday evening against a new round of restrictions.