On Wednesday, Italy reported 7,332 new positive tests for COVID-19 – breaking its previous record for most added infections in a single day – while Britain reported nearly 20,000 new cases.
Why it matters: Italy was one of the world’s first coronavirus hotspots, closing the country in March as hospitals threatened to be overcrowded and the UK had the highest mortality rate in Europe. After successfully suppressing the virus in the summer, many European countries are facing a potentially devastating second wave.
- The Guardian notes that the daily number of cases in the UK is also its highest record when it “excludes a day when the total number is artificially inflated from previous tests”
It is worth noting: Despite a record high number of cases, due in part to more tests, Italy reported only 43 deaths on Wednesday. During its previous daily infection record of 6,554 in March, Italy reported 796 deaths.
The big picture: The 27 countries in the European Union and the United Kingdom surpassed the United States in the number of new cases per million for the first time since the spring, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Some European countries are beginning to impose restrictions on coronavirus to limit the spread of the virus, but most hope to avoid major economic blockades.
- The increase in cases also comes before winter in Europe, a period in which public health experts fear that lower temperatures could allow the virus to spread out of control.
Go deeper: The number of coronavirus cases in Europe simply continues to rise