On Wednesday, Italy, one of the European countries hit hardest by COVID-19, crossed the one-million infection mark, leap-frogging Mexico, according to a Reuters tally, to become one of the top 10 worst-affected countries worldwide.
The Italian Ministry of Health said the country had reported 32,961 new cases over the past 24 hours, raising its total to 1,028 million since the infection first struck in February.
The Reuters tally showed that over two-thirds of all global coronavirus cases were in the top 10 countries. The list, which includes four other European countries besides Italy-Russia, France, Spain, and Britain, is led by the United States.
According to the Ministry of Health, Italy has registered some 42,953 deaths so far-the second highest number in Europe after Britain.
At over 4.18 percent, the nation also has the highest fatality rate on the continent, the Reuters tally showed. In contrast, the United States has a fatality rate of 2.33%.
In Italy, which became a global emblem of the crisis when military vehicles were called in during the early months of the pandemic to transport the dead, the daily total number of new cases has peaked at more than 34,000 over the last seven days.
Deaths have risen by more than 455 per day over the same period, but the rate appears to be increasing, with 623 COVID-related deaths announced by the health ministry on Wednesday-the highest figure since April 6.
At least 170 people are registered as COVID positive for every 10,000 people in Italy and over seven deaths are reported.
According to a Reuters tally on Tuesday, more than 300,000 people have died from COVID-19 across Europe, and officials worry that deaths and infections will continue to grow as the area heads into winter amid hopes of a new vaccine.
Europe accounts for about a fifth of the 1.2 million deaths worldwide, with only 10 percent of the world ‘s population, and even its well-equipped hospitals feel the pressure.
According to a Reuters tally, more than 51.66 million people have been confirmed to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,276,397 have died.