(CN) — With new cases surging in Europe, the world is recording its highest daily infection counts since the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic seven months ago.
On Thursday, the WHO reported a record one-day increase of 338,779 new infections. Globally, more than 5,000 people are dying each day from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The pandemic's death toll stands at about 1.07 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in the past century and a global crisis with catastrophic consequences.
The World Bank this week said the pandemic is likely to cause the first rise in extreme poverty since 1998 with up to 115 million more people falling into that category this year. The bank had previously estimated up to 100 million people in 2020 would fall below the extreme poverty line, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day.
On the flip side, the pandemic is making the world's richest even richer. A report from the Swiss bank UBS this week found that the wealth of the world's 2,189 billionaires reached a new high of $10.2 trillion by the end of July. The wealth of the world's richest grew by 27.5% between April and July, the report said. Industrialists and healthcare and tech billionaires have done the best, according to the report.
India leads the world in the number of new daily infections and deaths. On average, India is reporting more than 70,000 new daily infections and more than 900 deaths each day. Its death toll stands at more than 106,500 and the virus has been detected in nearly 7 million people in India.
The United States and Brazil, meanwhile, are the worst-hit nations in the world. U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are faulted for downplaying the risk of the virus and hindering efforts to suppress it.
In Brazil, the number of new daily infections has dropped from a high of over 70,000 cases in early August to more than 25,000 in recent days. Still, the daily death toll remains high with 730 Covid-19 fatalities reported on Thursday. Nearly 150,000 people in Brazil have died in the pandemic.
The U.S. is failing to contain the virus too. The rate of infection is beginning to rise again in the U.S. with more than 56,000 new cases reported Thursday. Americans continue to die in staggering numbers with 957 deaths linked to the virus on Thursday. The U.S. death toll, the world's highest, stands at about 218,000.
Europe too can't keep the virus in check.
On Friday, Socialist Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared a state of emergency in Madrid, deepening a political fight with the Madrid region's conservative leader, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, who'd resisted tough measures. On Thursday, a regional court struck down restrictions Sanchez's government had imposed, forcing him to declare the state of emergency.
About 7,000 police officers were mustered to enforce the restrictions, which include a ban on nonessential travel outside the city and surrounding suburban cities. About 4.8 million are affected by the state of emergency. Since early August, Spain has been in the grips of a second wave of the virus with daily infections surging past 9,000 cases for much of September. The rate of spread has dropped to about 5,600 new cases each day.
But Spain is not the only European nation experiencing an alarming spread of the virus.
The United Kingdom and France are reporting the most new infections in Europe. On Thursday, France reported more than 18,000 new cases and the U.K. more than 17,500 new cases.
In the U.K., tougher measures to curb the virus, such as the early closing of pubs and restaurants and prohibitions against families seeing each other, are in place across northern England, Wales and Scotland.